THE AIR MALTA IN-FLIGHT MAGAZINE
# 1 07 N OV E M B E R 2 02 1
S PECI A L E D ITI O N An in-depth glance at Malta's iGaming industry, sponsored by
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OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: IL-MAQLUBA
SUNDOWN IN SLIEMA David Baker gives us the lowdown on this popular Maltese town.
10 PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST Our monthly portrait of an artist explores the ethereal works of Fabio Borg.
18 AIR MALTA DESTINATION: ROME
Tour guide Matthew Camilleri takes us to Qrendi, where a legend awaits.
SIX TOP SIGHTS This month’s top sights round up takes us around Sliema.
ISLAND HIGHLIGHTS Here’s what not to miss when exploring the Maltese islands.
This month’s Air Malta destination ventures to the magical Italian capital.
November means it’s time for our iGaming special edition.
FILLING THE VOID
78 AIR MALTA SKY SHOP Peruse our onboard boutique, for fragrances, gifts and more.
80 AIR MALTA NEWS
A round-up of this month’s events and news.
85 DESTINATION INFORMATION
All you need to know about the techno event organisers, taking Malta by storm.
OUR MONTHLY RECIPE
Planning a trip? Take a look at all of Air Malta’s flight routes and code-sharing routes here.
Chef Samuel Farrugia provides his twist on a classic sticky date pudding.
SEEING MALTA IN VICTOR PASMORE’S LATE WORKS Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti digs deep into its archives.
34 CLARE AGIUS: THE LOCAL TRAVELLER Lauren John caught up with the well-known television personality.
Feeling hungry? Here’s where to head this month.
FLIGHT AND COMPANY INFORMATION
All you need to know about flying with Air Malta.
ELECTRONIC DEVICE INFORMATION
All the information you need with regards to phone, laptop and tablet usage onboard.
Browse our onboard menu here.
ON THE COVER
The picturesque narrow streets of Mdina are well worth exploring, at any time of the year.
MEET THE TE AM EDITORIAL AND DESIGN TBWA\ANG EXECUTIVE EDITOR Dayna Camilleri Clarke SALES AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TBWA\ANG CONTRIBUTORS Air Malta Angelo Dalli Christine Cassar David Baker Dayna Camilleri Clarke Dean Muscat Duncan Barry Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti Heritage Malta Lauren John Lyndsey Grima Matthew Camilleri Natalya Vukovic Palazzo Falson Patrick Massa Stephen Gauci Valletta Cultural Agency Visit Gozo
PHOTOGRAPHERS Andrew Zarb Aron Tanti Christine Cassar Clare Agius Colour My Travel Daniel Cilia Dominic Catania Fabio Borg Jason Borg (DOI) Heritage Malta Lisa Farrugia Mario Gauci Mark Cassar Natalya Vukovic Palazzo Falson Historic House Archives Samuel Farrugia Shaun Spiteri Teatru Manoel Viewing Malta Visit Gozo Wikimedia Commons ILLUSTRATOR Bryan Wolfgang Reiter
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED ON IL-BIZZILLA?
For advertising opportunities and restaurant listings, get in touch with TBWA\ANG on email@example.com or (+356) 2131 0608. For anything related to editorial or photography, contact Dayna on firstname.lastname@example.org The publisher, authors and contributors reserve their rights with regards to copyright. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or copied by any means without the written consent of the publisher. Editorial features and opinions expressed in il-Bizzilla do not necessarily reflect the views of Air Malta, the publisher, or the editorial team. Both Air Malta and the Publisher do not accept responsibility for commercial and advertising content. Although the authors and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this magazine was correct before going to print, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. Special thanks to the Malta Tourism Authority, Air Malta, Shutterstock and ViewingMalta.com for the provision of photographic material. Printed in Malta by VelPrint Ltd. All magazine rights are reserved by Air Malta PLC. We would like to apologise for the duplication of text on page 41 of the previous issue of Il-Bizzilla magazine, and the incorrect captions on the Sunken Wreck feature, page 30.
A space where creativity meets craft to highlight the local charm
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W ELC OM E
FROM THE CHAIRMAN...
FRO M THE ED ITO R...
Dear Guests, Merħba,
We are proud to announce that Air Malta has been voted the 3rd ‘Best Regional Airline in Europe’ and the 10th ‘Best Regional Airline in the World’ at the Skytrax World Airline Awards™ 2021. It’s great to see that our efforts to improve our customer experience, both on board our flights as well as on the ground, are bearing fruit.
It goes without saying November is a magical time on the islands. Winter hits us much later than our European counterparts, so really and truly, it’s autumn here. As the hot balmy nights of mid-summer fade into our memories, the islands begin the highly-anticipated countdown to Christmas. As usual, this month’s Bizzilla is a hearty concoction of everything that makes the Maltese islands so utterly unique. We have cherry-picked inspiring artisans, trawled dreamy locations to while away an afternoon and compiled wonderful restaurants to put on your bucket list. All you need to do is sit back and decide where to visit first.
Such results give us confidence that we are on the right track, as we continue seeking to improve our customer experience through further exciting projects and initiatives that we will be announcing soon. By the end of October, we will re-vitalise our own package holiday brand, airmaltaholidays.com, that offers customers the ability to choose Air Malta flights and design their own trip through a wide selection of accommodation properties across the world.
We finally managed to corner renowned artist Fabio Borg into an interview off the back of his recent success at "PROtaGOniesTEA", a popular exhibition comprising of some of Malta’s most creative minds. Take a look at what he had to say on page 10. Elsewhere Lauren John caught up with well-loved television personality, Clare Agius, and we nosedive straight into Malta’s techno scene with the fabulous team behind VOID, a truly original concept.
Our Flypass Frequent Flyers will now be able to redeem their KMiles on a one-way basis in addition to the existing return flight basis and we have an exciting 50% KMiles reduction offer during the month from November 2021 for travel between 1 November ’21 till 26 March ‘22. We also are pleased to now facilitate the transfer of KMiles from one Flypass member to another while redeeming an award flight.
Foodies, we haven’t neglected you. If the somewhat unpredictable weather and darker nights have left you reaching for the comfort food, then Chef Samuel Farrugia’s beguiling fig, date and walnut warm sticky pudding may be just the solution you are craving, on page 66.
At the end of October, we started operating our winter 2021/22 flight schedule. As we see increased signs of recovery and improved customer confidence across key European markets, we aim to continue increasing frequencies and services inline with demand. We have brought forward our re-start of services to/from London Gatwick to the 11th of December 2021, in addition to further increased flights on Amsterdam, Munich and Paris Charles De Gaulle over and above our already announced Winter schedule.
Further in the issue, we head to Rome in our destination feature. And now, with Air Malta’s increased connectivity to the eternal city, we are no longer just dreaming of visiting but excitedly making plenty of plans! As Giotto di Bondone, the Renaissance painter, once said, “Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning.”
Our humanitarian support during this pandemic has continued unabated. It was a proud moment for us, when, last month, we were entrusted to carry 135,690 AstraZeneca Covid vaccines to Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. This donation, by the Maltese Government, saw us operating a seven-hour direct flight, our longest and farthest non-stop operation in our history.
So, relax, enjoy an hour or two switching off from the world, and safe travels.
For more information and the latest news about Air Malta, our flight schedule and the new website, please visit www.airmalta. com and www.facebook.com/AirMalta and join our newsletter mailing list to receive great offers directly to your inbox. Thank you for flying Air Malta. Enjoy this edition and keep safe.
David G Curmi
EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, AIR MALTA
Experience Esplora EXPLORE | THINK | IMAGINE Science Shows | Planetarium Shows | Exhibits
to Esplora on presentation of a photo of this advert
T&C apply: Non-transferable and not valid with any other offer or group discount, not valid for themed events. Entrance to the EsploraPlanetarium is not included. Children: 0 to 15 years.
Esplora Interactive Science Centre was partfinanced by ERDF. Esplora was declared to be an Emblematic Project by the EU Commission
D E S T I NAT I ON
D E S T I NAT I ON
WORDS DAVID BAKER
SLIEMA OFFERS SOM E T H I NG F O R E V E RYON E IF YOU FLY TO MALTA AT NIGHT, THE SPARKLING LIGHTS OF THE ISLAND EMERGE FROM THE DARK OF THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA, IMMEDIATELY INCREASING YOUR EXCITEMENT LEVELS AHEAD OF YOUR IMMINENT ARRIVAL. During your descent, (depending on your flight path!) you may
Weekends are among the most popular days to enjoy the many
notice that one light shines a little brighter than most and that is
delights on offer in Sliema. It is then when most of the island seems
Sliema, a stylish seaside town on a peninsula on the north-eastern
to descend, to amble the promontory which stretches for several
coastline. Here you will discover a place that has something for
kilometres connecting the villages of St Julian’s and Gżira. So, if you
everyone – young and old, from pet lovers to high rollers and
like people watching, then this is the time to go.
everyone in between. From dawn to dusk and into the late evening, you’ll find dogs If it’s not in Sliema, Malta doesn’t have it!
trotting alongside their jogging owners, mums pushing prams and children learning to ride their bikes as café hoppers and cocktail
Sitting just over Valletta Harbour from the great UNESCO forts and
sippers survey the activity.
cathedrals of the Maltese capital, Sliema - which means ‘peace’ in Maltese - was once a quiet fishing village, a minor summer resort
They intertwine with elderly couples strolling arm in arm, just like
that hosted the wealthier Valletta residents.
Today, that fishing village has given way to the country’s foremost
The Front, as it’s known locally, is also a great place to go to
tourist destination. Its elegant waterfront, rocky beaches, nightlife, wide
seek out some of Sliema's more historic landmarks. The square-
variety of restaurants and hotels coupled with a superb retail experience
cut Torri ta' San Ġiljan looms high about halfway along the
give it a buzz like nowhere else on the island. Hey, there’s even several
prom. It dates to the 1600s and has seen some epic battles in
casinos where you can enjoy a little holiday flutter. Choose from an
its time. Move a little to the south of that and you'll find the
elegant colonial-style villa, an ultra-modern hotel complex, or a restored
quirky Independence Garden. It's been commandeered by cats
17th-century, harbour-side palace. All provide great entertainment
as a sleeping spot, but also has babbling baroque fountains and
whether you’re new to the tables or have tried your luck before.
sweeping views of the sea.
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Steps lead down from the promenade at numerous points along the way, to rocky beaches where you can jump into the warm Mediterranean water. Alternatively, seek out the Fond Għadir, a series of manmade bathing pools. While locals refer to them as the Roman Baths, the pools actually date to the 1800s. They're like a natural bubble bath with crystal-clear water and ample protection from the strongest waves. In the blocks behind the waterfront are charming Baroque churches, flower-strewn cottages, and sidewalk cafés by the bucket load. In fact, The Front provides the hop off point for many of Sliema’s attractions - Tigné Point for fashion stores and boutiques, picturesque St Julian's Bay, Balluta Bay (home to the only sandy beach off the Front) and Spinola Bay combined offer more cocktail joints and eateries than you could possibly need. Alternatively, visit Manoel Island where you can grab a dash of yacht watching and historic remains. Located in the middle of the harbour it is an unusual corner of the city that seems to have resisted modern development just a little better than the mainland. The island’s centrepieces are the buildings of the Lazzaretto and Fort Manoel. As the sun goes down, the Southern European drinking and eating culture, becomes especially evident. Malta has an emerging wine industry and makes some fantastic reds and whites and they can be really great to enjoy with a traditional meat and cheese platter! As you sit, sipping a cold white wine, you may also notice the increased traffic flow - towards Saint Julian’s - one of Malta's most popular R&R hubs. This is where the good-times roll! Swanky champagne bars open on the terraces above the sea, while chic cocktail joints and hotels with pools huddle between the honeyhued old buildings. Later, the action moves to Paceville, where raucous pubs and karaoke bars take over. Sliema offers something for everyone, especially visitors who are after a cosmopolitan lifestyle – indeed too many options to list here.
The Front, as it’s known locally, is also a great place to go to seek out some of Sliema's more historic landmarks.
I NSERT A TR ET XT HERE
WORDS DAYNA CAMILLERI CLARKE
PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST FA B I O B O RG
IF YOU ASK FABIO BORG TO RECALL WHEN HIS INTEREST IN ART BEGAN, HE CANNOT PINPOINT A PRECISE MOMENT, FOR AS LONG AS HE CAN RECALL, IT’S ALWAYS PLAYED A PIVOTAL ROLE THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE. From a very young age, Fabio studied drawing and painting at the
Further artistic influence came from Gabriel Caruana, who
Malta School of Art. Here he studied under the renowned artist
Fabio regards fondly as one of his greatest mentors. “I feel very
Anthony Calleja, who nurtured his emerging talent. Later, he
privileged that Gabriel was always there to push me further, and
pursued a career in graphic design and worked as an art director.
consider art not just as a hobby, but a way of life,” Fabio further
Fabio then spent several years in Italy, where he met various
explains. The late Gabriel Caruana is well regarded as a pioneer
accomplished artists. These were formative years for the artist.
of modern art in Malta.
In addition, he studied theology, philosophy and psychology, in which he obtained a degree.
His subject matter thoughtfully examines various aspects of life, from street scenes to still life. More recently, his current inspiration
These academic studies show a significant influence on Fabio's
comes from the landscape around us here in Malta.
works. This could be seen in his second solo exhibition held at The Museum of Fine Arts in 2004. His paintings are filled with
“I guess I have been subliminally messaged by my surroundings, to
hope, and the colours play an integral theme within his works.
paint and capture it the way I recall, in the way of preserving its
Furthermore, his encounters with Italian artists helped him to
beauty for future generations”. These haunting landscapes indeed
shape his ideas and thoughts. “I am grateful for my time in Italy,
evoke emotions in the viewer. Many scenes have leading paths into
and I have fond memories of my time there, and how it influenced
the woods and the unknown, gently pulling the eye into the artwork
my work and appreciation of others,” he explains.
itself. Fabio’s compositions are cemented by bold arrangements,
“I guess I have been subliminally messaged by my surroundings, to paint and capture it the way I recall, in the way of preserving its beauty for future generations”. with a limited palate. Vivid colours work in blissful harmony through a synchronised use of texture. There’s no shadow of a doubt Fabio successfully manages to capture the essence of his feelings brought by about his particular perspective on Malta’s rural topography. Intentionally or not, he places the viewer on a similar standpoint and helps the viewer appreciate the local countryside in parallel. When asked if that was the aim, he replies: “Many people infer different meanings from my work. For some, it might rekindle fond memories, others just find a unique sense of connection and relatability.” He admits he works from his studio and rarely plein air. “Sometimes I am driving, and I just see something I must capture. It remains imprinted in my head until I paint it.” His studio offers him the space to interpret the scene in a manner distinctively unique to Fabio. His preferred medium is acrylics on canvas since their fast-drying time renders them both practical and versatile. Since 1999, he has exhibited his works extensively in Malta and Gozo and is now regarded as one of Malta’s best artists. It goes without saying that his work expresses his inner being and what makes him tick- a deeply personal affair. Fabio openly admits his work mirrors his personality and whatever he is passing through at that point in time. He believes that we are always searching for perfection, especially in this social media-driven world, but we can never achieve it in this life. This concept is reflected within his works by the horizontal and vertical lines. Improvisation and spontaneity play an essential role in his art, enhancing the absolute harmony between the artist and his work that Fabio seeks to pursue.
You can view more of his work at Instagram artbyfabioborg, www.facebook.com/artbyfabioborg, and his next exhibition at Galleria Vittoria, Via Margutta, Rome from 11th to 24th April 2022.
WORDS VISITGOZO / MINISTRY FOR GOZO
GOZO’S GOOD PRACTICE STORY HAS BEEN SELECTED AS PART OF THE 2021 TOP 100 DESTINATION SUSTAINABILITY STORIES Every year the Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories
will showcase Gozitan heritage in the way of traditional Gozitan
competition collects sustainable tourism stories and good practices
dress, dance and customs, thereby promulgating Gozo’s cultural
from destinations all over the world to be shared as inspiring
patrimony not only to international visitors but also to domestic
examples to others, from tourism professionals to travellers. By
ones as they represent significant value.
telling their stories, destination management organisations can be acknowledged and recognised for the solutions they have
The windmill, which is the oldest surviving in Gozo, was
implemented in response to challenges and problems they have
commissioned by Grand Master Perellos at the start of the 18th
faced. With the tourism sector facing very challenging times in the
century. It was uniquely built in the shape of an octagon and each
past years, the resiliency and hard work of these destinations to
side is perfectly calibrated to match the compass points. The site
become more responsible should be celebrated.
consists of a large entrance hall, two large parallel rooms, and a kitchen at the back. A small piazza area was also created so that
The 2021 selection included the island of Gozo, with the restoration
the viewing experience and accessibility of the windmill is improved.
and regeneration project of ‘Tat-Tmien Kantunieri’ Windmill in
In the middle of the historical building there is a garigor (spiral
Xewkija, Gozo. This project was commended by country experts
staircase) leading up to the roof of the tower. The windmill started
and Green Destination Partners for bringing a long-lost historical
operating in 1710 by miller Ġanni Scicluna, it remained operational
building back to life.
until a huge fire ravaged it in the nineteenth century.
The aim of the rehabilitation and restoration project of the Xewkija
The Xewkija Windmill gives Gozo another facet in its tourism
windmill was to provide an innovative cultural and historical tourism
offering by providing an experience which not only promotes but
experience aiming to improve Gozo's tourism product. Apart from
celebrates and showcases its cultural and historical heritage and
the aesthetic aspect, the project also included reconstruction and
folklore. The Xewkija Windmill represents a time long gone by not
conservation works on the windmill’s mechanism.
only from an infrastructural perspective, but also via the activities that are to be held.
The windmill was often overlooked and unutilised. Through this project, it has now become one of the most notable landmarks on
the island of Gozo, especially given its central location just before
Maybe few know that over time, there were several grain windmills
entering Victoria. The Xewkija Windmill is now to be utilised as a
operating on the island of Gozo. Certain sources note as many as 15
centre of events for folkloristic re-enactments and events which
windmills scattered over the different villages of the island, some of
OEZ X OT H E R E I N S E R TG T
which dating back several centuries. A few have fallen in disrepair,
• In Qala one can still see two windmills standing. One complete
others have been dismantled over time and some have been rebuilt
with sails and tucked away in the village looks as if it is emerging
or converted into private residencies.
from a storybook, whilst the other standing desolate in the fields on the outskirts of Qala is in a marked contrast with the
It’s interesting to note that windmills were built within sight of each
first. One can also find another windmill in Nadur, located in a
other such that the miller in one windmill had view of others. In this
small square, close to the centre of the village.
way, the windmills could serve as a form of communication system between the millers around the island. Most of the windmills found
• In Victoria one can discover several windmills. Some are more easy
in Gozo have a square or rectangular base, with a cylindrical tower
to locate than others. One can find one windmill tucked away
in the centre of the building. Usually one finds a series of rooms at
in Fontana in an alley close to the Lunzjata Valley and another
the base of the building and the cylindrical tower features a spiral
is located in the street, just off St Francis Square, known as the
staircase that leads to the top of tower.
windmill at Għajn Qatet. Yet another is found at the outskirts of Victoria in the area known as Ta’ Marziena facing the village of
As the sails turned with the wind, they moved a heavy stone that
Sannat. In Sannat, there is a windmill that has been recently
ground the grain into the flour. On the days when the wind was strong
rebuilt by the Local Council on what was once the original
enough to operate the windmill, millers informed the local villagers by
windmill. This particular windmill tower is more of stump than a
sounding the triton-shell or ‘bronja’ as it was locally known.
tower and in fact it is much lower than the others.
In addition to the Xewkija Windmill, we’ve counted another 12
• On the western side of Gozo, one can still locate a windmill
windmills that one can still see standing on the island of Gozo!
in Santa Lucija just off the main square of the village. Another typical windmill is located in one of the main streets of Għarb.
• Maybe the most famous of all Gozitan windmills is the Ta’ Kola
On the way to Ta’ Pinu, one can also see a windmill located
windmill. Immaculately restored and kept, this windmill in Xagħra
close to the Aqueducts. Poised on a hill and in perfect vista over
is like entering a time capsule. The windmill, dating back to the
the surrounding countryside, this is also one of the windmills that
times of Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena, is today a Heritage
many can recognise.
Malta Museum presenting how the miller’s living quarters and workshop would have been when the mill was operational. In
These windmills, the majority of which are private properties, are
Xagħra, there is also another windmill.
like little gems that give Gozo that extra special rural touch.
WORDS VISITGOZO / MINISTRY FOR GOZO
DISCOVER GOZO: THE ĠGANTIJA TEMPLES
BUILT BEFORE THE FAMOUS STANDING STONES AT STONEHENGE, THE TWO TEMPLES MAKING UP THIS REMARKABLE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE HAVE AN EXTRAORDINARY HISTORY. BUILT BETWEEN 3600 AND 3200 B.C, THEY FELL INTO DISUSE AROUND 2500BC AND WERE NOT FULLY REVEALED TO THE MODERN EYE UNTIL THE 19TH CENTURY. The name Ġgantija derives from the word ‘ġgant’, Maltese for giant, as
bones suggest some sort of ritual involving animal sacrifice and the
Gozitans used to believe the temples were built by a race of giants. Not
use of fire is evidenced by the presence of stone hearths. A number
so surprising when you see the size of the limestone blocks from which
of libation holes in the floor may have been used for the pouring of
it is constructed. Some of these megaliths exceed five metres in length
and weigh over fifty tons. A small number of statuettes and other prehistoric objects found Hard-wearing Coralline limestone is used for the construction of the
at Ġgantija can be seen in the Gozo Museum of Archeology at the
outer walls (which is one of the reasons the buildings have survived
so long) whilst softer, smoother, Globigerina limestone is reserved for inner furnishings such as doorways, altars, and decorative slabs. Each temple consists of several apses flanking a central corridor. There is evidence that internal walls would have been plastered and
Ġgantija is accessible for persons with a disability.
painted. Two plaster fragments marked with red ochre have been found and are now preserved at the Gozo Museum of Archaeology.
The temples are open Monday to Sunday from 9.00hrs to 16.30hrs. Admission tickets cover entry to the nearby Ta’ Kola Windmill. Due
The temples have a large terrace at the front which would probably
to restrictions, opening times may change and it is advisable to
have been used for ceremonial gatherings. Remains of animal
check prior to visiting.
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WORDS AIR MALTA
A VISIT TO THE ETERNAL CIT Y THERE ARE SOME CITIES THAT, NO MATTER HOW OFTEN YOU VISIT, ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING NEW TO OFFER. ROME IS ONE SUCH CITY. WITH AIR MALTA’S FREQUENT FLIGHTS, ITALY’S CAPITAL IS EASILY ACCESSIBLE. Majestic architecture, delicious food, a most rich history, impressive
near the central obelisk (there’s a stone that marks the exact spot),
art masterpieces; the list of attractions in this city is endless. And
and focus on the colonnade. You'll see each row of four columns
even though you have visited Rome a number of times, you know
line up perfectly to look like a single column. Look out for the
you will return many times again. Here’s why: There’s a belief that
baroque altar baldachin, which stands over the tomb of St Peter,
you have to throw a coin into the celebrated rococo fountain that is
and Michelangelo’s famous Pieta sculpture in the basilica itself.
the Fontana di Trevi.
The Vatican Museums are a must see, and the crown jewel here is, of course, Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Castel Sant'Angelo is
Visitors stick to this ritual, so perhaps that’s why they keep going
nearby. This is now a museum but was originally commissioned as a
back. The fountain dates all the way back to 1732, when work was
mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian in the second century AD. Exhibits
first begun by Nicola Salvi and was completed by Giuseppe Pannini
here include weaponry and artifacts related to the building's long,
in 1762. You can toss a coin, and a second and perhaps third if you
wish to be hearing wedding bells soon. But, of course, there are oodles more attractions to savour in this gorgeous city.
The elliptical Piazza Navona is close and was originally a chariotracing stadium. Most famous here is one of the three fountains:
What visitors like especially about Rome is that many of the main
Bernini’s baroque Fountain of the Four Rivers, which represents
attractions are within walking distance from one an other. Why not
the four great rivers of the four continents known in the 17th
start at the Vatican City? Just look for the recognisable dome of St
century when it was built: the Danube in Europe, the Nile in Africa,
Peter’s Basilica. The Piazza San Pietro, which circles the basilica, is a
the Rio de la Plata in South America, and the Ganges in Asia.
masterpiece in itself. And, if you want to be a proper tourist, stand
Another must-see is the impressive Colosseum, it was the largest
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amphitheatre of the Roman empire and is the largest in the world.
you begin to see its cracks and flaws. And Rome is certainly not a
It could hold an estimated 80,000 spectators. A word of warning
city without them: the traffic can be a nightmare (though for the
about the lurking animators, especially in the Colosseum area.
tourist ambling around the city and with no strict timetables, this
Dressed in an attractive centurion kit complete with pseudo-armour
is not really a problem). But despite this, the Romans still manage
and red plumes sticking out of their helmet, some take advantage
to retain a certain zest for life, which is present in their mouth-
of unsuspecting tourists and lure them into taking photos and then
watering dishes, their idiosyncratic sense of style and their warm
charging the earth. Of course, the more you visit a city, the more
approach to socialising. Rome, visitors will be back.
Air Malta operates regular flights to Rome. More information on www.airmalta.com Please follow the latest Covid-19 guidelines with regards to travel.
WORDS NATALYA VUKOVIĆ
FILLING IN THE VOID KIMBERLEY PALERMO, CO-FOUNDER OF TECHNO PL ATFORM VOID, OPENS UP ABOUT THE SHARED MISSION AND INSPIRATION THAT LED TO VOID’S INCEPTION. What was once simply an idea to promote local techno artists led to
provide opportunities to a lot of artists who perform within different
the birth of VOID, a platform that provides local artists within the
techno styles. While the upcoming artists are kept a surprise, you
techno scene opportunities to perform and share their music with
might remember a few of their past notable events, which included
others. Founded by Kimberley Palermo, Jeremy Bordieri and Chris
performances by The Horrorist, 999999999, and KAS:ST.
Portelli, VOID came to life on the 17th of March in 2018, on the date of their first-ever event.
Together, Kimberley, Jeremy and Chris create events from concept to completion; Chris brands and markets VOID, Jeremy handles the
“There are many young people who start their journey through
selection of artists and style of music they want to portray, while
music and are really good at what they do, they just need a
Kimberley is in charge of reaching out to the artists and sponsors.
chance to be heard out,” Kimberley explained, adding that people
They also introduced Stefano Micallef and Chayenne Vella to the
unfortunately tend to only expect foreign acts at events. And that
team this past year, who assist with the events and on-site tasks,
is how VOID came to be, addressing a gap in the local techno scene
and Shaun Spiteri, who creates the captivating photographs you’ll
while leaving its mark on aspiring artists.
come across on VOID’s digital platforms.
“We specialise in a specific type of techno, but we sometimes like
One could say that the VOID team is truly a creative powerhouse,
to experiment with different styles, such as acid techno or groovy
yet nothing comes without its challenges. The music and
techno… we adapt,” Kimberley said, adding that VOID aims to
entertainment industry has dealt with its fair share of issues
I N S E R TMTUESX I CT H E R E
throughout the past year or two, as a result of the pandemic. “It
continuous form of entertainment when all events were paused.
affected us a lot,” Kimberley said. “Mostly on a personal note,
It also explored the careers of several artists, addressing their
because it’s not a job for us - it’s something we enjoy doing.”
inspiration and the choices that led them to pursue music.
Being a full-time anaesthetic nurse who worked within the ITU, Kimberley dealt with the effects of the pandemic first-hand. “We
It is clear that VOID has worked tirelessly to create an exhilarating
were feeling frustrated, we were feeling like we wanted to give
experience for techno enthusiasts across the island - and so, one
up, but we said this should pass. When people think of events,
must wonder, what’s next for VOID? “Hopefully, a very productive
they don’t realise there’s so much hard work involved but this is our
winter - we will still be present at our home-base being Liquid
life, not just our job.” Kimberley explained how the first gig following
club, and we are preparing to step up the game and promote
a year of no performances felt challenging. “Every one of us was
VOID in an innovative way,” Kimberley enthusiastically said.
demotivated, but we always tried to find something to make it
“What we are planning for next year, is to introduce ‘VOID Phase
interesting,” she went on to say.
I’. We do not yet have specific dates due to the pandemic, but we are planning to organise it on at least one Sunday of the month
And that is exactly what they set out to do, having used the
during summer. It will be a daytime event, a longer type of event,
challenging period to introduce an exciting new venture in
and more summery.”
collaboration with Liquid Club. ‘VOID CAST’ showcased techno artists performing through live recordings, which served as a
Find out more about VOID on voidcrew.com
I NSERT T EX T H ER E
ORDER KINNIE FROM AMAZON.CO.UK AND ENJOY MALTA’S OWN FAVOURITE BITTERSWEET SOFT DRINK WITH ORANGE FLAVOURING & AROMATIC HERBS FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME .
ON THE DOORSTEPS OF THE CAPITAL
AS WE SIP A DESIGNER SAKE COCKTAIL, GAZING ACROSS A PANORAMIC COASTLINE AMIDST AMBIENT BEATS AND QUIET ANTICIPATION FOR OUR DECADENT MARBLED WAGYU STEAKS TO ARRIVE, OUR MINDS WANDER BACK TO THAT OFT-REPEATED PHRASE USED TO DESCRIBE THIS REMARKABLY UNIQUE NEOFUSION CONCEPT RESTAURANT: "UNDERSTATED LUXURY". In 2005, entrepreneur Riccardo Giraudi rewrote the rules of fine
without the usual accompanying superiority complex. In Giraudi's
dining when he created Beefbar, a brand born in his native
own words, "Here, luxury is more felt and savoured than it is seen".
Monte-Carlo. Giraudi, known for his commercial Midas touch, infused the haute cuisine scene with a soft-focus, contemporary,
Upon launch, the hunger for this revolutionary new style of dining
at-times playful and suggestive energy - and this is the true key
became clear: the concept was met with instant enthusiasm from
to its success. Gone are the days in which one had to endure rigid
those with a taste for the finer, more fashionable things in life, and
social codes, snooty waiters, and a disingenuous, high-strung
the brand now lives in choice locations in the most sought-after
atmosphere in order to enjoy the most premium gastronomy
cities all over the world. Interiors by the celebrated design studio,
experiences that the world has to offer. In shunning the fine
Humbert & Poyet, ensure a cohesive standard of craftsmanship
dining sector's perceived requisite of pretentiousness and
and attention to creative deluxe and details. From the grandeur
ostentation, Giraudi created an entirely new restaurant genre.
of a historic architectural Art Nouveau masterpiece in Paris, to
Spending time in this restaurant feels like you're in an exclusive
uber-modern simplicity, dotted with colourful rustic tiled wall art
coterie of the savvy and fashionable, but in a comfortable
in Saint-Tropez. From the Michelin-starred marble and leather of
and welcoming setting. The wink is implied, and sometimes
Hong Kong, all the way to the lush greenery of indoor hanging
even featured in the form of an emoji printed right there on
tendril gardens on the banks of the Caribbean's Riviera Maya. Each
the tableware. If you're lucky, you might spot a dollar bill or an
location expresses its own enchanting personality - with convergent
eggplant. Beefbar operates in the sphere of the superior – just
themes of escapism from the ordinary, and French Riviera glamour.
I N S E RL TOTCEAXLT H E R E
Owing to its success in achieving an upscale luxury feel whilst
of the capital's historic 16th-century bastions, and the synchronicity
remaining tasteful and fun, Beefbar's effortlessly stylish locations
of these two icons of culture is setting chic hearts racing.
regularly top must-visit lists in global publications like Forbes, Vogue, and Harper's Bazaar. Every well-travelled aficionado of
Combining their expertise in gastronomy, architecture, atmosphere
modern culture has now visited at least one Beefbar location,
and service, this new offering will be a brand-new journey into
with serious lovers of the high-end having made the pilgrimage
indulgence and exclusivity. While Beefbar on the Beach radiates
to its iconic flagship restaurant in Monaco where the shiny Wagyu
fresh, airy and spacious golden coastal vibes, the new location will
award sits proudly atop a display of eye-wateringly exclusive cuts
be a more intimate affair enclosed in a classic stately structure
of pure meat. Staying true to their commitment to stay unique
with a dedicated outdoor area for elegant al fresco dining. Drop
and innovative, the wider menu wanders from satisfying global
in to sample the iconic street food dishes that put Beefbar on the
specialty street food in delicate portions, to bigger plates of
map, as well as some dramatic new unveilings that are generating
premium indulgent comfort food, to a select choice of delectable
buzz amongst foodies in-the-know. The best part? Beefbar in the
desserts. Show us a person that isn't tempted by the world-
City will be open all year round, meaning that you can indulge in
renowned chocolate soufflé, and we'll show you a person with no
a sumptuous evening meal to warm up those cold winter nights, a
soul. The signature cocktails are a lesson in balance and respect for
light refreshing springtime lunch, or a sun-soaked cocktail whilst
top-shelf spirits, making perfect accessories to the entire culinary
basking in the sultry Mediterranean mid-year breeze. Whichever
and architectural adventure. Beefbar on the Beach, harboured
location you choose to visit, you can be sure of one thing: you've
in Malta, is the brand's only location nestled on the shoreline and
never encountered anything quite like it.
boasts gorgeous seascape vistas that are almost as decadent as the food. It's easy to see why the brand continues to grow to new heights, even against the myriad of challenges faced by most establishments in the food and beverage industry in recent times. Fortunately for those on the island with their finger on the pulse of
Beefbar Malta Second location oprning soon beefbar.com Instagram: @beefbar_malta Follow the Beefbar Malta on social media for regular updates
all things à la mode, the brand has just delivered some exhilarating news: Beefbar is now opening a second set of impeccable doors in Malta, this time in the prestigious Hotel Phoenicia – the most respected 5-star establishment in the country. Located right on Valletta's doorstep, Beefbar in the City will sit against the backdrop
KINNIE SPRITZ THE NEW 4% ABV ALCOHOLIC APERITIVO KINNIE - MALTA’S MUCH-LOVED SOFT DRINK, EARLIER THIS YEAR VENTURED INTO A NEW AND EXCITING ADULT TERRITORY WITH THE L AUNCH OF KINNIE SPRITZ, 4% ABV ALCOHOLIC APERITIVO MADE FROM ITALIAN WINE AND BITTER HERBAL LIQUEUR. Building on Kinnie’s inherent mixability and classic bittersweet flavour, Kinnie Spritz is set to offer consumers a whole new aperitivo experience that will delight both Kinnie and non-Kinnie drinkers. Blended with a unique mix of natural bitters and botanicals and Italian sparkling wine from the Veneto region, Kinnie Spritz has been created as a ‘Ready to Drink’ light alcoholic aperitivo. Kinnie Spritz can be enjoyed at the bar or restaurant as a pre-dinner aperitivo, or at home complemented with light snacks and nibbles. Following years of in-house research and development, Kinnie Spritz has a distinct retro look and is packed exclusively in a bespoke 25cl glass bottle and 4-pack format for the retail segment, setting it apart from its non-alcoholic Classic range. Pour a chilled Kinnie Spritz over a goblet full of ice, garnish it with a slice of orange and enjoy responsibly. ABOUT KINNIE Kinnie is a non-alcoholic soft drink with a distinctive taste that has remained unchanged since 1952. Its uniquely bittersweet, orange flavour contrasts with a secret blend of aromatic herbs to tantalise the taste buds. It is delicious on its own or as a mixer with your favourite alcoholic spirits, always best served with a slice of orange. The range also includes Diet Kinnie – a sugar-free alternative, and Kinnie Zest, with enhanced orange flavour and no added sugar.
I NSERT T EX T H ER E
Explore Malta Safely by Bus Travel Cards from only €6
C U LT U R E
WORDS FONDAZZJONI PATRIMONJU MALTI
SEEING MALTA IN VICTOR PASMORE’S LATE WORKS
‘I CONSCIOUSLY AVOID BEING INFLUENCED BY VISUAL, OPTICAL SCENERY NOW – HOWEVER MUCH I THINK ITS BEAUTIFUL (AND I DO). I’M NOT INTERESTED IN ‘ABSTRACT’ PICTURES OF CLOUDS, SAY, OR THE SEA. NOT ONE IOTA.’ (Pasmore in an interview with Liz Jobey in 1985 from Victor Pasmore ed. Alistair Grieve)
And with that bold statement you might be wondering how we are
only after this culminated in his architectural design of the Apollo
going to defy Pasmore and see, in his final works, something that
Pavilion in Peterlee that Pasmore turned full circle by returning to
can only be attributed to him living on this island for thirty odd
two-dimensional painting, only in a completely different style.
years, absorbing (even subconsciously) it’s strongest traits. One of the most enjoyable aspects of looking at art (most especially
Up until 1966 Victor Pasmore lived and worked in England. His
abstract and contemporary art) is that it is always open to
decision to move to Malta along with his wife Wendy must have
individual interpretation regardless of any intentions the artist
been not only a life changing experience but an artistic one too.
wishes to convey.
Arriving in Malta one is hit by an almost blinding light that never quite vanishes. The sky is an expanse of blue often unmarked even
Victor Pasmore (1908-1998) is one of the pioneers of British Abstract
by a white cloud, the land is generally arid and of course the sea is
Art, often considered to be the most influential. Throughout his
ever present. A very different landscape for Pasmore to wake up to.
artistic career, his style underwent a series of transitions as he searched for the ultimate means of self-expression. After studying
It is from this point on that Pasmore’s work takes on an organic
the modern masters and extracting what he could from them,
and fluid quality as he immerses himself in pure abstraction. Bright
Pasmore moved on to creating collages and three-dimensional
colours become the norm, in particular the use of blue, and shapes
artworks. He became captivated by the relationships between
merge and collide. In Green and Indigo, 1969 it is possible to see the
spaces and how an onlooker could interact with his work. It was
beaches in the north of the island with their patchwork of blue and
I NSERT T EX T H ER E
green sea, golden sand dunes and vegetation that reaches beach level. The sea, never still, seems to move in circular motions as it eventually laps the shore. Many of his works from this period seem to be inspired by the farmhouse they bought and made their home, and the renovations they carried out. The Morning Star, The Birth of Psyche – Blue Symphony, 1982 (reproduced above), may be just that, though the static rectangle of blue that features in a number of these works, could well be an image of his swimming pool that was a central feature of the house. Similarly, is a small sketchy artwork with added blocks of wood protruding from the canvas that seem to be steps alongside the pool and a bright yellow sun in the centre. It is an area of the property that Pasmore worked hard on, combining the old with the new, injecting his modern architectural ideas into a traditional rural courtyard. Hanging a mobile from beams that are painted blue instantly gives the impression of a bird flying through the skies, or possibly one of the many regular aeroplanes that must have passed over the property which is located not far from the airport. Pasmore was also intrigued by the local Maltese limestone which is very yellow in colour and was then the predominant building material on the island. These large slabs not only served as an inspiration for his Pavilion project in Peterlee but he also created carvings and sculptures from the stone.
Seeing Malta in these works is of course subjective, though often difficult to dismiss. We are incredibly lucky here however to have an impressive collection of Pasmore’s works from this period. The Victor Pasmore Gallery which closed during the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 will be opening again in the near future. The collection was officially handed over to Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti and it is their aim as the new managers of the artworks, to relocate the Collection to new premises for permanent display and to continue to research, promote and display Pasmore’s important cultural legacy that impacted Malta and his Maltese contemporaries. In September, FPM entered into a long-term agreement with APS Bank under which it will have use of the Bank’s former main office on St Paul’s Street, Valletta transforming it into a permanent gallery and exhibition space. The historical palazzo, which will retain the name of “APS House”, will go through several months of upgrading and refurbishment that will create an outstanding art and cultural hub of international standard in Malta which will also house the Victor Pasmore collection. www.patrimonju.org
BUSI N ESS
WORDS THE SHORELINE
THE SHORELINE RESIDENCE RELEASES FINAL GROUP OF SEAFRONT APARTMENTS
The Shoreline Residence, currently being developed at Smart
laguna and open sea beyond. The Show Apartment, constructed
City Malta, has just released 50 new one-and two-bedroom
by Koray Group, The Shoreline’s design and build contractor, has
apartments, which will be officially on the market on 18 October
been fully furnished by C. Fino and Sons Limited and includes
2021. These new properties which are available for sale on plan
an adjacent section which showcases a selection of finishing
will be completed by 2023 and include the last remaining one-
materials for the added convenience of clients in making their
and two-bedroom sea facing units in the project. These units
choices of materials and styles.
overlook the residents’ private plaza and have open sea views. The Shoreline Residence offers a varied selection of 370 studios, Andrew Gatt, Sales and Marketing Manager at The Shoreline,
1, 2 or 3-bedroom apartments, duplexes, and penthouses, many
said, “Anyone visiting Smart City can see for themselves the
overlooking outstanding sea views and all benefitting from
rapid progress that is now being made on The Shoreline project.
substantial terraces, as well as the use and enjoyment of a
With the release of these new apartments, all of which have
landscaped 7,000 sqm private plaza for residents. As a Special
generously proportioned terraces, we are offering an unparalleled
Designated Area (SDA), both EU and non-EU nationals are free
mix of luxury accommodation, superb views and community
to purchase multiple units without limits or restrictions, whether
amenities together with genuine potential for substantial capital
for investment, resale, rental, holiday home or as a lifestyle choice,
appreciation for investors. End-users, holiday home buyers and
without the need for permits from the authorities. Units are all
buy-to-let clients all have a unique opportunity to acquire great
offered finished to the highest standards.
properties in a state-of-the art development.” Existing clients and prospective buyers can now also gain a better appreciation of what life at The Shoreline will be like following the
More information is available at
completion of a show apartment which directly overlooks the site,
https://theshorelineresidence.com or on +356 9949 7518
I NSERT T EX T H ER E
2021/22 SE A SON PROGR A MME
“BE PR EPA R ED F OR A BE AU TIFUL A ND I NSPIR I NG JOUR NEY ”
DANCES FOR GOZO / KALYPSO, choreography by JACOB PICCININO / NUOVA FIGURA, choreography by PAOLO MANGIOLA 22, 24, 26, 30 OCTOBER & 5 NOVEMBER
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM / A Film Choreographed by SERGIU MATIS 3, 4, 5 DECEMBER
WEAVING CHAOS / Choreography by TÂNIA CARVALHO 18, 19, 20 FEBRUARY
ŻFINDAYS DOUBLE BILL / OCHRE, choreography by GEORGIA TEGOU / HOW TO DESTROY YOUR DANCE, choreography by FRANCESCA PENNINI, COLLETTIVO CINETICO 26, 27 MARCH
INTIMATE ŻFIN / Choreography by PAOLO MANGIOLA / Music by ALEXANDRA ALDEN 27, 28, 29 MAY
REQUIEM FOR JULIET / Choreography by RICCARDO BUSCARINI 19 JUNE
SUNRISE MASS / Choreography by PAOLO MANGIOLA
WORDS LAUREN JOHN
CLARE AGIUS THE LOCAL TRAVELLER LAUREN JOHN CATCHES UP WITH TV PRESENTER AND ACTRESS CLARE AGIUS, AND DISCOVERS AN ADVENTUROUS MALTESE LADY, WITH SOME GREAT TRAVEL TIPS AND IDEAS ON WHAT BIG SCREEN MOVIE CREWS SHOULD FILM ON THE ISLANDS TOO. “The Twilight Saga prequel. The Volturi
series showcasing her passion for aviation.
proud Maltese and Mediterranean girl, and
were in Volterra Italy on a sunny day, so
As Clare says: “I put my passions into my
I love the local feel, our history, our hidden
perhaps they could come here to film
projects. My curiosity and passion for life
gems, our cuisine and our seas". This has
a similar scene. My guest role would
have always served me well, as through
led to ‘The Local Traveller’ becoming a show
definitely be a vampire, and I could be
being open to learning I have met many
that has turned one person’s passion for
cast out by the Volturi. They would not
different people, and experienced many
their homeland into a series appealing to
accept me since I turned vegetarian, and
things that I am grateful for, as they have
different loves and likes across all ages. Each
I could be Alice’s best ally, who could
been my university of life.”
episode may be different, but there is one
show her around, as we try to find a great
must-have that runs throughout the series.
hideaway place for the Cullens to stay. I
Clare’s adventures have taken her all over
“What is a must for me to bring in a local
know a few underground caves that could
Europe, but like many, she was grounded
person who gives character and soul to the
probably do with a makeover, and turned
during the Coronavirus pandemic.
programme. I’ve met people from a Professor
into a magnificent home of theirs.”
Fortunately, her passion for travelling found
in Marine Biology to a 70-year-old local ice
a new outlet closer to home, and ‘The
cream man. The gems are not only in the
Clare Agius: pilot, TV presenter, storyteller,
Local Traveller’ was born. Now in its second
island’s history and culture but in its people.”
and it seems aspiring vampire! Clare has
season, this TV series plays out on local TV
been working in TV for over 20 years,
and is subtitled in English on YouTube to
One of Clare’s first suggestions if you’re
presenting and producing diverse content
give everyone the best chance to “get to
visiting Malta for the first time is to “make
ranging from a 10-year run of an all-women
know Malta through the eyes of a local.” As
friends with the locals, and always ask them
talk show, to ‘Airborne’, a documentary
Clare comments she is every inch “a very
which is the best restaurant, what is going
I N S E RL TOTCEAXLT H E R E
on at the moment on the island, and what
to the Maritime Museum in Birgu. Clare’s
to see areas I had never seen before. Off
their favourite spot in Malta is?” Clare has
tip for any family visit would be “think
the beaten track biking is also something
a few suggestions herself, especially for
outside the box, and opt to go to places
I wish to do more of, so while I don’t
families visiting Malta and the islands for
where there are fewer crowds so you get
consider myself an athlete, I’m certainly
the first time.
to enjoy more quality time with them, and
an adventurer, so you will see me try
be as curious and fascinated as they are.”
anything that gives that excitement and
“One activity I think we should do more
awe of our beautiful islands.”
of with our kids is go snorkelling. We can
Between filming ‘The Local Traveller’
encourage our children to have a greater
series, and off-camera family trips,
This takes us full circle to the world of
appreciation of the sea, and its relevance to
Clare Agius has managed to keep her
movies, and while Clare isn’t baring her
us as humans. I can mention a few places
adventurous spirit alive during the most
vampire fangs just yet, you can try and spot
I have been with my children recently, one
difficult of times and look to the future
her in the recent Hallmark release ‘To Catch
is Riviera Bay but snorkel towards the end
too. She has a bucket list of places and
A Spy’ which premiered in June this year.
part of the swimming line, when most of
experiences which includes Africa, a trip
the time you will come across small rays.
to Scandinavia to see the Northern Lights,
Film, theatre, and TV – it’s certainly been
In Gozo, I have taken them to Qbajjar
an interesting journey for this Maltese
and the little bay just before it. We saw
adventurer and it’s not over yet. Share in the
a starfish!” Other tried and tested places
“I recently went kayaking and did just
beauty of Malta and the islands, and follow
include the Foresta 2000 nature reserve in
short of 15km during a three to four-hour
‘The Local Traveller’ on Instagram, Facebook
Mellieħa, along with ice cream and a trip
morning which I truly enjoyed, and got
and Youtube for more.
WORDS HERITAGE MALTA
ICE AGE TO STONE AGE
TRAVEL DOWN THE ANNALS OF TIME TO THE DAWN OF CIVILISATION WITH A HERITAGE MALTA COMBO TICKET WHICH ALLOWS ACCESS TO ĦAĠAR QIM PARK, GĦAR DALAM, BORG IN-NADUR, AND TARXIEN TEMPLES. Malta’s history begins in a long and dark cave. Buried deep under
(3,150 – 2,500 BC) and the Bronze Age (2,400 – 700 BC).
strata of sediment and volcanic ash, the earliest evidence of human
Excavated in the 1920s by eminent archaeologist Margaret
presence on the islands, dates back to circa 7,400 years ago.
Murray, the four apsed building found within the site is fronted by
Digging deeper, down to the ‘Hippopotamus Layer’, the animal
a large enclosed area which is unique for such edifices.
bones deposited in this cave by watercourses, zap us right back to the Pleistocene era, some 500,000 years ago!
Just above the fishing hamlet of Wied iż-Żurrieq, and commanding panoramic views of the islet of Filfa, the temple of Ħaġar Qim
Għar Dalam, situated close to the southeast coastal village of
stands perched on a hilltop, eternally enshrouded in myth and
Birżebbuġia, is Malta’s oldest prehistoric site. The bone remains
mystery. Nearby, on each equinox and solstice, the doorway to the
of small-sized elephants and hippopotami that once roamed
second set of apses in Mnajdra, another prehistoric temple complex,
Malta’s plains are among the recently refurbished museum’s most
mysteriously marks the position of the rising sun.
notable exhibits. Besides its palentelogogical and archaeological significance, the site of Għar Dalam features a garden named Ġnien
Discovered in 1913 by local farmers, the Tarxien Temples complex
Dinja Waħda, planted with indigenous plants and trees and used for
consists of four megalithic structures built between 3800 and 2200 BC.
Re-used as a Bronze Age cremation cemetery, the South Temple is the most highly decorated with its relief sculpture and the lower
Unparalleled elsewhere in the Neolithic, the UNESCO listed
part of a colossal statue of a skirted figure. Meanwhile, the Central
‘Megalithic Temples of Malta’, one of the earliest groups of free-
Temple was constructed with its unique six-apse plan and contains
standing structures in the world, are considered to be a milestone
evidence of arched roofing.
in humankind’s technological evolution. They display a distinct architectural tradition that does not appear to have been influenced by anything beyond Maltese shores. Prehistoric Combo tickets (valid for thirty days) may be purchased Located some 500m away from Għar Dalam, the neolithic site
at all Heritage Malta museum and site shops or online:
of Borg in-Nadur was in use during both the late Temple Period
I NSERT T EX T H ER E
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PHILLIPE MARTINET FINE WINES 239/BB Tower Road Sliema Shop: +356 2703 0093
Ben Martinet: +356 9951 1787
Philippe Martinet: +356 9947 2208
WORDS MATTHEW CAMILLERI (TOURS MANAGER AT COLOUR MY TRAVEL)
OFF THE BE ATEN TRACK I L- M A Q L U B A , Q R E N D I
THE SMALL, QUAINT VILLAGE OF QRENDI BOASTS OF A LONG COLOURFUL HISTORY, A RICH RELIGIOUS HERITAGE, FASCINATING LEGENDS, AND A PEACEFUL RURAL ENVIRONMENT WITH BREATH-TAKING SCENERY. LOCATED NEARBY ARE A NUMBER OF WELL-KNOWN SITES, SUCH AS THE PREHISTORIC TEMPLES OF ĦAĠAR QIM AND MNAJDRA, THE SPECTACULAR FISHING HAMLET OF WIED IŻ-ŻURRIEQ, AND THE FAMOUS BLUE GROTTO.
I NSERT L OTCEA XLT H E R E
But undoubtedly the most mysterious site is to be found right on the
thrive at Il-Maqluba, including ones that are endemic to the Maltese
outskirts of the village. At one end of the small open area known
Islands, thus making it a very important ecological site. These
as Misraħ tal-Maqluba, and just behind the chapel dedicated to St
include Malta’s national tree - the Sandarac Gum Tree - as well as
Matthew, lies a strange crater-like hole in the ground covering an
the Maltese Salt Tree, which only grows locally, while among the
area of about 6,000 square metres and approximately 15 metres
more common species, one finds Carob, Pomegranate, and Prickly
deep. Known as ‘il-Maqluba’, its name literally translates into
‘turned upside down’. The list of fauna identified at il-Maqluba is also interesting, and GOD'S PUNISHMENT?
includes rare species of ants, beetles, a slug, a millipede, and a type
Centuries ago the locals came up with a legend to explain the
of woodlouse. Grey long-eared bats and free-tailed bats also inhabit
existence of this strange feature. Supposedly, this was once the site
the zone, while most importantly, Malta’s national bird, the Blue
of a small hamlet, whose inhabitants had turned away from God.
Rock Thrush, is known to breed at Il-Maqluba.
Though he tried to warn them through a pious woman living in the area, they refused to change their ways and were thus punished.
THE CHAPELS Also of interest are the two adjoining chapels dedicated to the same
A terrifying storm broke out, as angels ripped the village from its
saint. The smaller one, located just feet away from the edge of
roots and dumped it out at sea, thus not only explaining the large
the precipice, is known as San Mattew iż-Żgħir, and is said to have
hole left behind, but also the creation of the tiny islet of Filfla.
survived the 1343 incident which created il-Maqluba, although it is
Only the woman praying inside a chapel on the village outskirts
possible that it was in fact built soon afterwards. Its architectural
was spared. This story seemed to be corroborated by the fact that
style suggests that it was built in the 14th century, which would
today’s chapel is found literally at the edge of the precipice.
make it one of the oldest Christian shrines in Malta.
A GEOLOGICAL FEATURE
The larger chapel - San Mattew il-Kbir - was completed in 1682. Its
In truth, of course, there is a much more logical explanation for
decoration is more ornate, with small stained-glass windows and
il-Maqluba’s existence. Such sinkholes are usually formed when the
a large titular painting showing the martyrdom of St Matthew.
ceilings of underground caverns collapse. Given that caves are very
Although San Mattew il-Kbir suffered significant damage during
common in the Maltese Islands, there are numerous other sinkholes
World War Two, later restoration works ensured that the building
locally, but il-Maqluba is undoubtedly the best example.
It is believed that il-Maqluba was created on 23rd November
All in all, the area of il-Maqluba is definitely an intriguing site.
1343, when Malta experienced a severe Winter storm, possibly
Whether you love nature, history, or are simply curious, you can
accompanied by an earthquake, which led to the roof of a pre-
always head over to Misraħ tal-Maqluba, take a seat on one of the
existing underground cave to collapse, leaving behind a big gaping
benches to enjoy the scenery, and of course don’t forget to follow
hole. In reality, the tremor felt by the locals was more likely caused
the path by the side of the chapel so that you can peer for yourself
by the collapse itself, the result of long-term underground erosion.
down into this mysterious chasm.
A NATURAL HAVEN
Colour my Travel organises various tours and the full schedule is
Because of its inaccessibility, several interesting species of plants
available on www.colourmytravel.com
I NSERT T EX T H ER E
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Illustrations are the artist’s impressions only and cannot be regarded as representations of facts or accurate locations.
UNFORGETTA DAY AT
WINTER PACKAGE ESTATE WINES LTD 239/BB, Tower Road, Sliema, SLM 1601, Malta. Contact us on (+356) 9951 1787 www.martinet-finewines.com
Entrance to Popeye’s Film Set A variety of Animation Shows Scavenger Hunt Access to Popeye’s Comic Museum Entrance to the Cinema (15 minutes Documentary of the Film Set) Silver Smith Demonstrations Use of Nine-Hole Mini-Golf course Free Postcard Free Popcorn
November - May: 10.30 - 16.30
Bus Number: 101 +356 21 524 782
www.popeyemalta.com Popeye Village Malta Popeyemalta79
WITH SO MANY CITIES, TOWNS AND VILLAGES ON OUR LITTLE ISLANDS, IT’S HARD TO DECIDE WHAT TO SEE AND WHERE TO GO. THROUGHOUT THE YEAR WE’LL BE HIGHLIGHTING OUR TOP LOCATIONS FOR THE SEASON. THIS MONTH IT'S SLIEMA, MALTA.
SIX TOP SIGHTS
Home to the Tigné Fort which is currently undergoing renovation and a rocky beach, this peninsula in Sliema offers a majestic view of Valletta especially at dusk. It has experienced extensive redevelopment work and the opening of the largest shopping mall in Malta called “The Point” - perfect for all those last-minute souvenirs.
A theatre whose origins dates back to 1908, it is part of a bigger oratory which acts as a hub of activity for people of all ages. Teatru Salesjan is the oldest existing theatre in the vicinity and one of the oldest operating theatres in Malta. The venue has been an active focus for local creativity for many generations and retains its primary mission as a community theatre.
The Independence Gardens is a scenic park and recreation area located near the coastal strip of Sliema on the island of Malta, almost on the border with the neighbouring town of St Julian’s. The park has plenty of greenery, equipped with walking paths and plenty of places to sit back with a good book or watch the world go by. There are children’s playgrounds, cafes and a fountain.
ROMAN BATHS [FOND GHADIR]
STELLA MARIS PARISH CHURCH
LILY AGIUS GALLERY
The baths are cut into the rock beneath the ideally situated Surfside restaurant and have been supplied with pool ladders for safety. Although they are named the Roman Baths, they are thought to only date as far back as the Victorian era, but they are still just as enjoyable! Make sure you wear suitable shoes, even if you plan to swim due to the rough terrain.
Stella Maris Parish Church is located in the heart of Sliema. The Church dates back to 1878. If you are interested in beautiful neoclassical architecture, make sure you pay a visit. The church was built at the end of the 19th century when Sliema was still a small village. It is the oldest Church in the area and at the same time, it is a mother church or a “matrice” for other parish churches in Sliema and Gżira vicinity.
If you are looking for an eclectic choice in art pieces for your home, visit Lily Agius Gallery on Triq Tal-Katidral, for a complete and ethereal variety of unique pieces. Lily Agius was born and raised in London and studied for her first year of BA Hons. History of Art and Design at Manchester Metropolitan University, before moving to Malta to complete her studies, where she has set up this popular gallery.
T O P L O C AT I ON S
DESPITE ITS DIMINUTIVE SIZE, THE MALTESE ARCHIPELAGO IS BURSTING WITH HISTORIC SITES, IDYLLIC SPOTS, CULTURE AND TRADITION. THE MALTESE ISLANDS ARE LIKE NOWHERE ELSE. HERE YOU’LL FIND FOSSIL-STUDDED GEO FORMATIONS, PREHISTORIC TEMPLES, INTRIGUING DIVING OPPORTUNITIES, AND A RICHLY WOVEN HISTORY OF REMARKABLE INTENSITY. HERE’S A HANDY GUIDE ON WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR DURING YOUR STAY.
ISL A N D H IG H LIG H T S
DRAGONARA CAVA (CORAL LAGOON), L-AHRAX POINT, MALTA One of Malta’s best kept secrets. Venture off the beaten track to discover one of Malta’s natural wonders, located in the limits of Aħrax and Little Armier Bay.
UPPER BARRAKKA AREA, VALLETTA, MALTA If you’re into architecture, this is the perfect spot to snap some pictures of some of the traditional Maltese balconies, and capture spectacular views of the Grand Harbour. 46
I NTSOEPR T L OTCEAT X TI ON H ES RE
MDINA, MALTA Interested in taking a journey through time? Mdina has it all - a long history, medieval and baroque architecture, and prestigious treasures that are part of our cultural heritage.
NADUR BELVEDERE, NADUR, GOZO One of the best spots in Nadur to experience the sun rising from the east.
XWEJNI SALT PANS, MARSALFORN, GOZO The distinct Xwejni Salt Pans are truly a must-see. Sea-salt production is one of the oldest Gozitan traditions that has been passed down from one generation to another.
TA’ PINU SANCTUARY, GHARB, GOZO An architectural masterpiece that must be seen to believe. Dedicated to Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu, the sanctuary is visited by both locals and tourists alike, who wish to pray or simply admire the art, architecture and magnificent designs. 47
BUSI N ESS
WHATEVER YOUR REASON IN VISITING THE MALTESE ISLANDS, WE HAVE A WEALTH OF PRODUCTS OR SERVICES FOR YOU.
BUSINE SS OR PLE A SURE?
GO & FUN Looking for a refreshing way to cool down in the heat? Malta’s top-selling Go&Fun Green Energy drink is the answer! If you’re seeking a boost, this popular energy drink is sure to do the trick like no other, and it tastes great to boot. This beverage offers a unique taste packed with natural flavours and free from taurine, what's more it's a local Maltese offering and one of Malta’s top-selling brands. Keep your eyes peeled for its distinctive packaging whilst you are travelling around the islands, and grab a Go&Fun!
5th - 21st November
ETHIOPIAN ARTIST DAWIT ADNEW’S ‘PAVED ROAD’ ART EXHIBITION
Christine X Art Gallery, Sliema
A collection of paintings of women and African masks by Ethiopian artist Dawit Adnew will be exhibited at Christine X Art Gallery in Sliema between the 5th and 21st November 2021. www.christinexart.com firstname.lastname@example.org + 356 2131 6708 | +356 9984 4653 INFORMATION ABOUT THIS EXHIBITION www.christinexart.com/pages/dawit-adnews-paved-road-exhibition
I NSERT T EX T H ER E
Less churn. More ka-ching. The payment journey is vital in keeping players happy. Talk to us at SiGMA about instant payments and withdrawals, and how Trustly’s account-to-account payments could enhance the player experience. Go to trustly.com for more.
Interview with Eman Pulis.
GDPR rules, don't take a gamble.
Welcome from the Editor “Bizzilla iGaming special supplement... a platform for the iGaming industry in Malta.” I am absolutely thrilled to be presenting our latest Bizzilla iGaming special supplement, all about the buzzing iGaming industry in Malta. “BISS”. As well as being an acrostic, (See what we did there?) in Maltese BISS translates to “Only”. And it’s only here, onboard Air Malta you can find this special edition! In a relatively short time frame, iGaming has elevated itself as one of the most prominent sectors in Malta. Not to mention the significant boost that is added to the local economy each year. Its arrival, and a strong presence on the Maltese islands, has impacted every part of local life.
Aside from the copious international companies setting up shop in Malta, the iGaming industry lends itself to a “work hard, play hard” philosophy. It’s no secret Malta offers a wonderful climate, lifestyle, and some incredibly desirable spots to host a glamorous event. In this special edition, we caught up with Eman Pulis, the brains behind the iconic SiGMA brand, to discover what led to its phenomenal global success. Elsewhere Patrick Massa discusses the important topic of GDPR and to add to that, we also have an insightful feature from Angelo Dalli, CEO and Co-Founder of Umnai, regarding the use of AI in gaming. We will see you again soon; until then - keep an eye on this space!
I NSERT T EX T H ER E
1 5 - 2 0 N OV 202 1
For media & sponsorship opportunities, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
GET IN THE GAME SiGMA, THE WORLD’S BIGGEST iGAMING EVENT, SHOWCASES THE LATEST TRENDS IN GAMING, TECHNOLOGY AND PAYMENTS
SiGMA is back! This exciting networking event runs from 15-19 November 2021 at the Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre in Ta' Qali, Attard. It brings together representatives from all areas of the global iGaming (or online gaming) industry, routinely attracting more than 15,000 attendees from over 80 countries. Swedish company Trustly will be on site to discuss the latest innovations in payment solutions for this complex and competitive sector. The last 20 years have seen the emergence of online gaming as one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. According to analyst firm New Zoo, the online gaming industry was worth a hefty $152.1 billion in 2020. Many put this valuation down to the rate of technological advancements and improvements to player experiences happening across the world. Digitisation is transforming the online gaming sector and operators are continually looking for ways to stay ahead of the competition by offering the latest games
I NSERT T EX T H ER E 53
What sets Trustly apart is that we handle the entire journey of the funds from player to operator. This enables us to offer an attractive alternative to the traditional card networks at a lower cost. and boost loyalty among their players. One is to improve customer experiences by modernising the payment process to make pay-ins and payouts as seamless and convenient as possible.
here is that processing times vary, costs are relatively high, and payouts can take up to between five and seven days to reach the customer’s bank account.
The flow of funds between players and operators is the red thread of the online gaming industry. Without it, there is no industry. And with flexible payment methods enjoying widespread adoption in other online areas – such as retail, travel and entertainment – players naturally expect the same quality services from online gaming operators.
Our flagship product for the online gaming industry, Pay N Play®, combines the registration and initial deposit steps, so players can skip lengthy sign-up processes. This increases conversion and ensures better ROI for online gaming operators when it comes to player acquisition and reactivation spend. Players love Trustly’s instant withdrawals so much that operators who offer Pay N Play® have a significantly higher new player retention rate than comparable operators.
The lion’s share of the online gaming market is made up of classic casino games and sports odds. Other popular offerings include lotteries, scratch cards, and video gaming. In many ways, online gaming resembles the traditional gaming sector with hubs all over the world. Together with Gibraltar and the UK, Malta is one of most popular places to work and do business for online gaming operators. SiGMA is where everyone comes together to network, sample delicious cuisine, and enjoy Malta’s long-standing reputation for outstanding events.
The way it works for players is that they click 'Play now' on their smartphone. They then select their bank, log in, verify and make a deposit just like they would if they were buying clothes from an online retailer or renting a movie. They are at once registered, verified and can start playing right away. When they are ready to cash out, they click 'Withdraw', enter the amount, and any winnings are instantly sent to their bank account.
Trustly will be at SiGMA to discuss all the different ways that online payments can give online gaming operators the tools they need to create positive player experiences. Founded in 2008, Trustly is a global leader in Online Banking Payments. Our digital account-to-account platform redefines the speed, simplicity and security of payments, linking players to some of the world’s most prominent online gaming operators directly from their bank accounts. Online payments are designed to combat some of the most common pain points inherent to traditional payment methods such as cash, credit cards and debit cards. Cash is a relic of the past and these days it is largely relegated to the history books or Hollywood movies. It is grossly inefficient, super expensive to handle, and wildly unsafe to carry. Credit cards are easy to use but problematic as they can make it easy to spend more than you can afford. Several governments, including the UK and Germany, have banned using credit cards for gaming purposes. That leaves debit cards. The problem
What sets Trustly apart is that we handle the entire journey of the funds from player to operator. This enables us to offer an attractive alternative to the traditional card networks at a lower cost. Pay N Play® has revolutionised the online gaming industry because it requires zero cards, downloads or registration. This makes them easy to adopt and safer to use. It even discourages irresponsible behavior by allowing players to only access their actual bank balance. Trustly has also launched Scan N Play, which extends Trustly’s seamless digital experience into the realm of land-based gaming. With Scan N Play, players can make instant cashless deposits and withdrawals at casinos and retail gaming shops via their smartphones. There’s a lot more we could tell you about Trustly so please come and see us while you are in Malta. Trustly will be at Booth P6 all week. You can also contact us via our website www.trustly.com
The Vision Behind Malta's Largest Expo
IL-BIZZILLA EDITOR DAYNA CAMILLERI CLARKE CATCHES UP WITH EMAN PULIS, FOUNDER AND CEO OF SIGMA GROUP, WHO SHARES HIS GLOBAL SUCCESS STORY, AND WHAT LIES AHEAD. HOW DID SiGM A COME TO BE THE WOR LD’S LE A DING iGA MING EV EN T? Since opening our doors to a few local companies back in 2014, we’ve been slowly but steadily increasing our footprint. Over the last few years, SiGMA has grown not only in scale but in scope. In 2019 we hosted around 15,000 delegates – and built a brand-new tent at the MFCC to accommodate them! – Over the last few years, we’ve also announced an increasingly global itinerary of events – with 2022 launching expos in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. There’s really nothing we love more than to get people together. So, alongside our main expos, we’ve hosted 11 iGathering dinners this year so far, with more to come in November. We’re planning a similarly full line-up for next year as well – making us very present on the world stage. Additionally, we’ve invested in our media, developing a strong front when it comes to affiliation in the gaming sector, promoting online casino, sports betting, and emerging tech. Last year we were proud to announce that the SiGMA website is live in ten key international languages. We’ve also been developing fresh content for SiGMA TV and SiGMA News, including our well-received Executive Series interviews for C-levels. True to my startup roots, I have also recently founded Ikigai Ventures, a Malta-based seed-stage venture capital firm committed to supporting bright ideas worldwide. We're currently focusing our efforts on investments in verticals such as gaming, betting, mobility, esports, blockchain, AI, and other frontier technologies. W H AT DO YOU THINK W ER E THE M A IN C ATA LYSTS FOR ITS SUCCESS? We’re committed to quality. We do what we do well, years of experience, collaboration with experts in their field and indepth knowledge of the industry has enabled us to stand out amongst the crowd as the leading event and media provider in our industry. From booth building to magazine design – quality is king. Most importantly, it’s about mindset. The SiGMA Group is not there to merely organise events. We’re there to help shape the industry. There to foster economic growth. There to celebrate the entrepreneurial success of every host country we go to.
YOU H AV E A LWAYS MAINTAINED THAT YOU ARE A ‘START-UP ROMANTIC.’ WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU? It’s a love of the new and unexplored. We’re living in a fastpaced environment, working within verticals constantly in flux – there’s no room to settle. The gaming and emerging tech sectors are full of innovation and new ideas – it’s a very inspiring environment to work in. Some may say this kind of optimism is naïve – but it’s seen us through some challenging times, allowing us to see a new way forward when all doors seem closed. In other words – being romantic means to be an entrepreneur, to see the world not as it is but as it could be. W H AT C A N DELEGATES EX PECT AT SiGM A? Where do I start? One of the best things about SiGMA this year is that it’s happening as part of Malta Week – a weeklong expo dedicated to our main brands. The MFCC will host not just the gaming sector but our verticals in emerging tech (AIBC) and marketing affiliation (AGS) as well. This alignment of events allows investors to leverage the significant crossover potential for multi-faceted deals and to double down on opportunities to connect with some of the leading players in the industry. We’re also bringing back crowd favourites, such as the Start-up Pitch – an onstage battle for start-up entrepreneurs and businesses in front of a panel of well-known investors. We’ve also thrown our weight behind start-ups by providing them with space on the expo floor – the perfect platform to launch their unicorn journey. In addition, we’re launching an investment fund to support up-and-coming start-ups with a benefit worth ranging from between €25,000 to €500,000. Additional benefits also include childcare services for delegates, a great Malta Week party featuring the likes of Akon, DJ Djibril Cissé, DJ Ruby, and a troop of electrifying cyber dancers, as well as plenty of networking leisure activities, including a friendly-competitive Padel Tournament, a golf event, and a football tourney. W ITH THE CLOSUR E OF EV EN TS WOR LDW IDE, HOW DID THE PA NDEMIC A FFECT YOU? Like most other businesses we have had to navigate new ways of working and thinking. Despite having to rethink our plans, we didn’t let this slow us down. Instead, we used the time to focus on improving our initiatives, whilst also
I NSERT T EX T H ER E 55
exploring the digital side of things. We launched several successful digital events – including one targeting the LatAm markets, which went live in 3 languages.
There’s always room to grow, but I believe the islands have established themselves as a great place to do business and as home to a diverse and skilled workforce.
SiGM A ISN’T JUST GA MING, W H AT OTHER A R E A S DO YOU COV ER? SiGMA Group comprises four main verticals: AIBC, which is focussed on the emerging technologies, AGS, the affiliate marketing arm, Med-Tech World, which is dedicated to the digital health sector, and of course SiGMA, which explores the gaming verticals.
Malta is also valuable to businesses because it is so easy to live here – most of the population speak English fluently, the weather is always good – even in winter, and the opportunities for leisure and entertainment are unmatched.
W H AT SPA R KED YOUR IN TER EST IN THE BLOCKCH A IN DOM A IN A ND CRY PTO? It’s a very exciting space right now, not only is there a lot of interest, but there’s a lot of innovation. Many people make the mistake of thinking the emerging technologies, such as Blockchain are only focussed on digital currencies – but there’s so many use cases within so many verticals for the technology. I also firmly believe that the synergy between verticals is the rocket fuel for diverging verticals to learn from each other, and most importantly do more business with each other. If we want a truly global industry - this is the way forward. HOW IS M A LTA POSITIONED TO SUPPORT SiGM A? Malta has proven itself to be both resilient and agile – especially in the wake of the health crisis. Without a doubt Malta remains a hub for the global gaming community and shows no signs of going anywhere.
HOW M A N Y PEOPLE A R E YOU A N TICIPATING W ILL PA RTICIPATE? We’re expecting some 20,000 in all. HOW W ILL THIS Y E A R’S EV EN T BE DIFFER EN T FROM PR EV IOUS SiGM A EX POS? This is the first time we’ve ever held three major expos in the same week and under the same roof. The benefits for cross pollination are huge, and we can’t wait to see this convergence of ideas, debate, and networking take place. I think it’s fair to say this is going to be the mother of all conferences! W H AT DOES THE FU T UR E HOLD FOR SiGM A? We’re looking forward to exploring the potential new markets in Kenya, Toronto and Ukraine have to offer. We’re also working on SiGMA College – an accredited and free e-learning course. Key topics will leverage the company’s vast network and knowledge pool to build a number of courses highlighting opportunities in the gaming, blockchain, and emerging tech sector.
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FAIRWINDS MANAGEMENT LIMITED Fairwinds Management Limited is made up of ambitious professionals operating in Malta having experience in corporate service, accounting, legal and tax advice. As an established professional firm, we offer company formations, Gaming license applications, and full company maintenance, including but not limited to, introduction to financial institutions, bookkeeping, payroll, preparation and submission of VAT and tax compliance services, residence permits, virtual assistance and other ancillary services as requested. Visit us on ST38 - SiGMA. Contact us on email@example.com
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Do Robots Dream of Playing Games? CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF UMNAI, ANGELO DALLI, ON THE ROLE OF AI IN GAMING.
Artificial Intelligence has had a long association with game playing, with traditional games like chess inspiring the early development of AI itself. One of the very first AI programs, Turbochamp, was created in 1948. Clearly, people have been fascinated with machines that can seem to think and play for a very long time. AI players have long been a fixture in video games and other forms of e-sports, typically being referred to as a non-player character (NPC). Both skill games and games of chance routinely use AI to make games more challenging and rewarding to players, while improving the operations efficiency, profitability, appeal and minimise risk to operators behind-the-scenes. Every operator has a unique operational context and while the AI technology used can be identical, the precise settings and rules created are what makes each operator unique – effectively teaching the AI system the knowledge acquired by that operator over time. Early AI adopters and innovators in the gaming industry have been using AI to reduce operational costs. After all, algorithms can function on a 24x7 basis without needing breaks or shifts unlike their human counterparts. AI can perform time-consuming and repetitive analyses that provide valuable insight without ever getting bored or fatigued. Operator staff can be spared from doing boring and laborious operational work, allowing them to concentrate on more critical matters that need human attention. AI is also used within risk management frameworks, to limit and identify operational and financial risks to the operator.
AI can also identify problematic behaviours in players, whether problematic gambling patterns for games of chance, or excessively long sessions for skill games and eSports. Gaming operators also enhance the player experience by mitigating against excessive risk, tailoring the game experience to better suit the type of player and their risk appetite, while also offering bonuses, tournaments, and promotions whenever possible. Recommendation engines, campaign management tools and loyalty systems help nudge players in the right direction while keeping an enjoyable and exciting experience throughout. Forecasting of player behaviour and risk exposure is also a significant area where advances are being made rapidly. AI may try to predict who are the likely players that will be eligible for a particular bonus, reward, particular scenario, or achievement together with a simulation of what circumstances can lead to them achieving it. The advent of AI algorithms that monitor the entire behaviour of all players to identify opportunities to reduce costs can lead to significant operational improvement, giving operators an edge over their competitors who do not use AI technology. New forms of AI technology that can explain the precise factors and decisions taken to arrive at an action are being introduced to increase the trustworthiness of such systems in gaming. In regulated operations, such explainable AI technology can help operators meet compliance and regulatory requirements. In eSports, such explanations may indicate where the game play needs to be improved and help provide realistic feedback to players while making NPCs appear more human-like.
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Psychological studies have shown that when machines possess human-like qualities, they can increase the willingness of players to interact with them and gamble more, promoting riskier gambling behaviours. For people, interacting with something that mimics the appearance of having an intelligent mind is more welcoming than simply using a lifeless machine. Unfortunately, this is a cognitive vulnerability that could be easily exploited by those intent on manipulating others for financial gain, especially without a framework for responsible behaviour. Explainable AI technology can help identify such occurrences and help maintain a fair balance between the player entertainment needs without exploitation of irrational decisions that are often made in the middle of a heated game. AI can also come up with interesting game play on their own, by learning from playing against other people and by spending long hours playing against itself. Programs like Alpha Zero have mastered the games of Chess, Go and Shogu at world champion levels, while video playing AI has managed to beat professional eSports players at games like Dota 2. Such eSports game playing offers interesting insights into how AI can operate in the real world, like operating driverless cars, as such games do not offer full information to the player, forcing the AI to try to predict and imagine what their human opponent could be doing at the same time. The long game play and variety of available moves at any one time also lets AI uncover strange and unexpected way of achieving goals that differ from how a normal person would do it. AI can also learn wrong associations – like human players do. Game playing NPCs that learn from rewards that are
obtained by playing certain actions, called reinforcement learning, can erroneously associate certain actions with receiving a reward, even though there is no such actual relationship. The AI algorithms can thus end up devising wrong strategies based on what they encounter in the environment, acting quite like people who associate rituals or superstitious actions with unrelated outcomes. While this is obviously something that we would not want our automated car to learn, it does make NPC players seem more human like. People tend to ascribe human characteristics to non-human agents and objects, a behaviour known as anthropomorphism. This leads us to treat such objects as though they have features like intentions, mannerisms, emotions, and consciousness, when they actually have none. Indeed, frequent gamblers have been frequently observed to talk to slot machines with expressions that insulted or attributed emotions to the devices. NPC believability also plays a major role in eSports and influence the extent to which the players find the experience believable. The need for people to interpret the evolving narrative within complex games can even lead to players developing emphatic relationships and reactions towards NPCs. Soon we expect to have more virtual reality integrated within our daily lives, where we increasingly live in a metaverse composed of the real and the virtual. Games will always have an important role in making such spaces fun and entertaining. AI is becoming increasingly better at being a robust sparring partner, companion, explainable coach, and game opponent. Whatever will AI be playing better than us humans next?
As Umnai’s Chief Executive Officer, Angelo is responsible for leading the company’s commercial, product and technology strategy. Umnai was founded as an innovative AI focused solutions provider that is creating new ground-breaking AI technology that can explain and optimize itself and its decisions while helping to assist people rather than replacing them, with an emphasis on achieving a positive social impact. Angelo is an AI expert who has published over 23 scientific publications in Europe and the US and has over twenty years of experience in various executive positions in technology, entertainment and fintech companies. Angelo has also represented Malta in various international events and one of his first international achievements was to win a bronze medal at the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) in 1995.
Angelo Dalli CEO and Co-Founder, Umnai
As a serial entrepreneur, Angelo was involved in four IPOs and invested in more than 40 successful companies, and is a member of EBAN, senator representative of WBAF and president of BAM. This long track record was recognised twice in 2014 and 2019, when he was awarded with Malta’s Top Entrepreneur of the Year award. Angelo’s prof ile is a realization of the mantra he works by ‘To create scaleable, repeatable technology businesses that lead by innovation’. Angelo Dalli is also a member of The Malta Chamber of Commerce.
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GDPR AND ONLINE GAMBLING: A code of conduct to clarify areas of controversy
Patrick Massa Senior Associate WH Partners
As a data-driven industry online gambling is heavily affected by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Although most operators in the EU have achieved an adequate level of GDPR compliance, certain GDPR provisions are still challenging, causing a degree of legal uncertainty within the industry. In this context, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) developed a draft ‘Code of Conduct on Data Protection in Online Gambling’ (Code) seeking to establish sectorspecific rules and best practices to reinforce the sector’s compliance with the GDPR. EGBA submitted the Code to the Maltese Information and Data Protection Commissioner (IDPC). If the Code is approved by the IDPC it would, for all intents and purposes, become a formal code of conduct for the online gambling industry. Transparency and Consent are two of the main issues which the Code seeks to address. TR A NSPA R ENC Y This fundamental principle requires operators to provide players with clear and transparent information on all data
processing activities. Nevertheless, the extent of this principle’s application within the online gambling industry is unclear. The Code notes that this principle is subject to certain exceptions. These include disclosure of any information on anti-money laundering investigations, which would be tantamount to the offence of ‘tipping off’, as well as information on the monitoring of players for responsible gambling purposes, as this may enable players to bypass these mechanisms. The Code also provides that operators should be allowed to withhold information which may affect their fundamental (the Code uses the term “compelling”) business interests. As an example, the Code refers to operators’ risk assessment of sportsbook customers which, if disclosed, may increase an operator’s financial risk exposure. CONSEN T Under the GDPR, operators must obtain “freely given” consent to data processing from players. This implies that operators cannot penalise players who do not provide their consent, as such practice would not afford players a genuine and free choice.
While this interpretation is acknowledged by the Code, it interestingly provides that operators may still incentivise consent in certain cases. As an example, the Code states that operators should be allowed to request consent for email marketing about bonus promotions and should be allowed not to grant a bonus to those players who do not provide their consent, without this being considered a penalty. THE CODE’S LEGA L STAT US The Code addresses several other areas on which operators generally require clarity and would therefore bring certainty where today there are widespread views. It will be interesting to follow the IDPC’s reaction to the Code and whether it will request any significant amendments to it. In reviewing and considering a code of conduct the IDPC will have to seek feedback from an entity called the European Data Protection Board, an independent European body established by the GDPR. If formally approved, the Code would be open for signature to online gambling companies licensed within the EU/EEA. Signatories would bind themselves to adhere to its provisions.
I NSERT T EX T H ER E
THE WINNING FORMULA in MALTA 2nd level Diamonds International Building, Portomaso, St. Julian's, Malta
UK I USA I FRANCE I GERMANY I CYPRUS I MALTA I URUGUAY I MEXICO I UKRAINE I SOUTH AFRICA I LATVIA TAIWAN I PHILIPPINES I PERU I ARMENIA Betconstruct holds a Critical Gaming Supply license, number MGA/B2B/286/2014 by the Malta Gaming Authority. 18+, Play Responsibly https://about.gambleaware.org/
M A D E I N M A LTA
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A KEEP-SAKE, A TOKEN FROM YOUR LAST MALTA HOLIDAY OR WANT TO TREAT SOMEONE LIVING OUTSIDE OUR ISLANDS, THEN WHY NOT TAKE SOME GENUINE MALTESE PRODUCTS HOME WITH YOU?
Simonds Farsons Cisk plc is synonymous with a beer brewing tradition rooted in quality. At the base of this tradition are long-established skills of selecting nature’s best ingredients coupled with the expertise of skilled and dedicated brewers that ensure that a high standard of quality is maintained at every step in the brewing process. Over the years, this dedication has contributed to creating award-winning brews that so many have grown to appreciate. Cisk Lager, launched in 1929, is a golden-coloured, bottom fermented lager with a distinctive and well-balanced character with an alcohol content of 4.2%. The range also includes Cisk Export – a smooth, well-balanced and exceptional beer with a 5% alcohol content, Cisk Excel – a low carbohydrate beer, Cisk Chill – flavoured beer available in three flavours, Cisk Pilsner – a premium pilsner with an alcohol content of 5.5% and Cisk Strong – an outstanding extra-strong premium lager with a 9% alcohol content.
Kinnie, Malta’s own favourite soft drink, is a unique tasting bitter-sweet soft drink with orange flavouring and aromatic herbs. Kinnie is best enjoyed ‘neat’, with a slice of orange and lots of ice. Highly refreshing, it is also an excellent mixer. These distinctive characteristics have made Kinnie a Mediterranean classic since 1952, loved by the local population and tourists. Over the years, in keeping with evolving trends in lifestyles and health awareness, a zero-calorie version, Diet Kinnie, was introduced, as well as Kinnie Zest – a sugar-free variant with an intense orange flavour. The Kinnie range is available online at: amazon.co.uk kinnie.com
Buy Cisk on amazon.co.uk
NEDXDTRHI N KE IFNOSO ED R TA T ER
SOME GO OD
FO OD FOR THOUGHT
FOOD A ND DRINK
WE BRING YOU THE BEST THAT THE MALTESE KITCHEN HAS TO OFFER WITH RECIPES INSPIRED BY MEDITERRANEAN AND EUROPEAN CUISINE.
Samuel Farruġia, a professional chef with a career spanning over 18 years, is the founder of The Maltese Cook and has just launched his newest sharing concept which goes by the name of ‘Trust the Chef - Good Rustic Food, Bringing People Together’. Sam has travelled around the world, working in diverse locations and is bringing all that he has learnt and loves to cook to the table. Get in touch to book a table. Here is a dish taken from one of his recent Trust the Chef dinners. 66
FOOD A ND DRINK
Figs, dates and walnuts can all be found in abundance within the Maltese islands, and what screams comfort food more than a warmy sticky pudding? The trick is to let the sauce soak into the sponge before serving, then bring plenty more to the table so everyone can help themselves!
STICKY DATE PUDDING SERVED WITH A CHOCOLATE, WALNUT AND FIG COMPOTE INGREDIENTS FOR THE PUDDING
FOR THE COMPOTE SAUCE
750ml water (A)
250ml chopped dried figs
600g red apples, peeled and diced (A)
50g toasted and chopped walnuts
600g dates, chopped (A)
400g soft butter (B)
75ml red wine
600g brown sugar (B)
60g brown sugar
3 large eggs (B)
25g cocoa powder
600g sieved plain flour (C)
1tsp orange zest
30g baking powder (C)
20g salt (C)
Pinch ground nutmeg Pinch ground star anise
METHOD FOR PUDDING Preheat the oven to 150°C. Place (A) ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer. Once dates have softened down, take off the heat and blitz with a hand blender till smooth, put aside to cool. Once cooled, add (B) ingredients to the blended date mixture and whisk in till fully incorporated. Finally, add (C) ingredients to this mix and fold in with a spatula till fully incorporated and no lumps are present. Add pudding mix to a loaf tin or a shallow baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 minutes or till a knife emerges clean after inserting into the pudding. Set aside to cool and cut to desired thickness and size. FOR SAUCE Place all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook down to a thick, syrup-like consistency. When ready to serve, slightly warm the pudding in a microwave and serve with a few spoonful’s of compote. Finish with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and toasted crushed hazelnuts. 67
FOOD A ND DRINK
A GUIDE TO
DINING ON THE MALTE SE ISL ANDS
IFNOSO ED R TA T NEDXDTRHI N ER KE
VINI E CAPRICCI BY ABRAHAM’S
TA’ MARIJA – YOUR GASTRO MALTESE KITCHEN
Gozitano Agricultural Village, Mġarr Road, Xewkija, Gozo
Constitution Street, Mosta
Vini e Capricci by Abraham's is the answer to every gourmet’s prayers, and an experience in its own right. A truly innovative gastrodome, home to exquisite food and award-winning wine and spirits. A concept which integrates a strong educational element, where the public not only can purchase but will also experience products first-hand; a sumptuous celebration of food and a flair of excellence. A landmark in the Maltese Islands, with an aim to marry a store selling the finest ingredients with a cultural and artistic offer second to none. Constant attention to detail and a passion for the good things in life is what makes Vini e Capricci a unique culinary destination.
Established in 1964, Ta’ Marija is one of the island’s most historically rich restaurants. Head to their Folklore Dinner shows held every Friday evening for a touch of Maltese liveliness. Transport can also be arranged. Their gastro menu is bursting with creativity with what is locally traditional while adding their own signature flavours of sumptuousness. From small-sized appetizers and platters ideal for those of you looking to experience a variety of different flavours, to traditional home-made ravioli, bringing you your favourite Maltese dishes in a way you never imagined. Mains include traditional and signature Maltese dishes ranging from popular rabbit selection, seasonal fish and shellfish in season, local meats and the famous ‘Whisper’ chargrilled steaks … also specials offered on the day. Be sure to leave room for their mouth-watering home-made desserts.
+356 2156 3231 www.viniecapricci.com abrahamsgozo abrahamsgozo email@example.com
+356 2143 4444 www.tamarija.com firstname.lastname@example.org
SINGITA MIRACLE BEACH MALTA
InterContinental Malta, Saint Julian’s
Triq Għajn Tuffieħa, Mġarr
Waterbiscuit is a synonym for a creative and innovative culinary experience. The restaurant is located in the hotel offering a gastronomic experience to delight their guests with a charming and contemporary atmosphere and enthusiastically accomplished cuisine, using the freshest Mediterranean ingredients. The cool & calm interiors make Waterbiscuit a soothing haven, and the guests can enjoy the bar dining throughout the day, though ultimately cocktails enjoy the limelight. Along with the delicious food, Waterbiscuit’s cocktails exceed the wildest expectations. Get in touch for opening hours and reservations.
Nestled in completely natural surroundings, Singita Miracle Beach philosophy is all about positivity and wellness. Mediterranean pasta, fresh salads, local and exotic fruits, seasonal vegetables, Italian pizza, evening barbecues, and a lot more can be experienced in our sea view terrace. Waiting for the sun to set straight into the sea sipping our fresh fruit cocktails, it is now considered as one of Malta’s top experiences.
+356 2157 8586 www.singita.it/en/malta/ singitamalta
+356 2376 2225 waterbiscuitmalta waterbiscuitrestaurant 69
FOOD A ND DRINK
Fort St Angelo, Birgu
Żewwieqa Street, Mġarr, Gozo
At Terrone our philosophy is to champion fresh, local produce. We work with a daily changing menu highlighting seasonality and freshness to curate a memorable dining experience in a unique and historic setting. Choose to share a number of smaller plates to sample a multitude of flavours prior to a whole local fish or premium cut of beef from our wood burning grill or indulge in our signature 6 course seafood tasting menu which showcases the best seafood the Med has to offer. Either way quality and consistency are assured. Reservations recommended.
Perched on a cliff top in Mġarr, Gozo, Country Terrace provides panoramic views over the yachting marina and the Malta/ Comino channel. With ferries hypnotically passing by, and being secluded from view by surrounding trees, it’s the perfect spot to while away the time. Joseph, the owner, is a big character and great host, taking care of front of house so that guests feel welcome, whilst his eye for detail ensures high standards. The menu here is primarily Mediterranean, with a large range of pasta dishes including gluten free, as well as many vegetarian choices, and fish and meat options in classic combinations. Get in touch for opening hours and reservations.
+356 2704 2656 www.terrone.com.mt email@example.com terronemt
+ 356 2155 0248 | + 356 2755 0248 www.country-terrace.com firstname.lastname@example.org
TA' KRIS RESTAURANT & MALTESE BISTRO
80, Fawwara Lane, Sliema
Triq Schreiber, San Ġiljan
Set in one of Sliema’s oldest bakeries, Ta’ Kris is all about providing a genuine mix of affordable Maltese and Mediterranean dishes in a homely fashion and rustic surroundings. Ta’ Kris offers a varied menu of traditional Maltese food such as braġioli, rabbit, octopus stew, bebbux (snails), balbuljata (corned beef hash), baked lamb, daily specials, pasta dishes, a selection of fresh fish on a daily basis and mouth-watering steaks. Ta’ Kris also offers take away & delivery service and set menus can be designed for special occasions. Advance booking is recommended and may be done through our website, via email, by phone, or on Facebook. Ta’ Kris is open from Monday to Sunday, from 12:30pm till 11pm.
Hammett’s Mestizo is a vibrant Meso-South American social dining and drinking experience. The restaurant works with a plates-to-share concept, which means you order multiple dishes which are placed in the centre of the table to share between friends. This approach makes dining a social event in which you can try various dishes from the menu. And you will not only want to try the South American inspired dishes, the cocktails have also been created with ingredients that originate in the continent and there is a Latin American wine list.
+356 2779 5099 www.hammettsmestizo.com hammettsmestizo hammettsmestizo
+356 21 337 367 | +356 79 337 367 www.takrisrestaurant.com email@example.com 70
Open Waters Advert.pdf
I NSERT T EX T H ER E
ANDREW’S BAR St. George’s Bay, St. Julian’s Andrew's Bar is a freshly re-opened venue where fun is not optional, good food is compulsory, and building great memories is essential! Steeped in legacy, this is, in fact, Malta's oldest bar! The place is a go-to, and you're simply going to love indulging in the extensive menu with a great local cuisine focus with traditional Maltese dishes and modern dishes such as pizza or pasta. Ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or also for a quiet drink or two!
+356 2138 8031 firstname.lastname@example.org
TA' KOLINA 151, Tower Road, Sliema Ta’ Kolina is a quaint, family run restaurant on Tower Road (one of Sliema’s most popular spots) and has been open since 1974. Ta’ Kolina is a typical Maltese restaurant with it traditional Maltese interior and décor. A set menu comprising of traditional Maltese food offers a choice of starter, main dish, dessert, and coffee for €24 per person. There is also a vibrant a la carte menu and daily display of fresh local fish. Dining here is a true Maltese experience for a reasonable price. We are open for both lunch and dinner from 12:00hrs – 22:30hrs.
+356 2133 5106 www.takolina.mt
+356 2010 5590 email@example.com Beach Garden Hotel, St. George's Bay, St Julian's, STJ 3302, Malta
For advertising opportunities and restaurant listings, get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org or (+356) 9929 0518
Welcome on board! FOOD, BEVERAGE AND BOUTIQUE MENU
Cash is not accepted on board. Please ask your cabin crew for a receipt.
Choose from our selection of sweet and savoury options and enjoy a range of hot beverages, beer, wines, spirits and mixers, or opt for our deals for amazing value.
BAR MEAL DEAL
Choose any Wine and Pringles, Salted Peanuts or Hummus Tomato & Basil Chips for
Buy any Main Meal with any Alcoholic Beverage for
SAVE UP TO €2.00
SAVE UP TO €4.50
your Meal, Fragrances, Beauty Products and more, before your flight, in 4 easy steps:
1. Visit www.airmalta.com
and click on Pre-Order Menu
2. Enter your flight details 3. Select and pay 4. Sit back, relax, and get it delivered to your seat Ask any crew member for more information! Orders close 48 hours before departure. Other T&Cs apply.
Build your own Deal Choose a Main Meal and add a Snack and Non-alcoholic Beverage for JUST €3.00 more. SAVE UP TO €5.00
AT €10.00 ONLY
Select a main
Choose a snack
Pick a beverage
ANY HOT BEVERAGE
The Extra Mile Deal Get the Ham and Cheese or Pizza Margherita Ciabatta, Snack and a non-alcoholic beverage as a meal deal for
Get an additional €2 discount on the meal deal when you choose the Ham and Cheese or the Pizza Margherita Ciabatta as your main meal when you are flying into Malta! This offer is subject to availability and is only available on inbound flights to Malta.
Ham and Cheese available on selected flights. For a guaranteed onboard meal please visit our pre-order section on airmalta.com. Ask any cabin crew member for more information. Allergen information: ingredients and allergens may vary depending on country of origin. Please refer to product labels before consuming. Images may differ from actual products. Some products may be unavailable on certain flights, please ask your cabin crew member for more information. Cash is not accepted.
Main Meals Ham and Cheese Brioche Smoked Ham and Cheddar Cheese in a brioche Bun and served hot! €7.00
Pizza Margherita Ciabatta Vegetarian Classic mozzarella cheese and tomato on a grilled ciabatta bread. Served hot! €7.00
Vegan Lasagne Lactose free, gluten free, vegan and served hot! €7.00
Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice A taste of Asia and a worldwide favourite, served hot! €7.00
Snack’In Antipasto Tray A selection of salami, crackers, olives and popped cheese. €6.00
A Mediterranean classic, served hot! €7.00
SAVOURY SNACKS Twistees 50g €1.50 San Carlo Salted Crisps 25g €2.00
Hummus Chips Tomato and Basil 45g €2.50
Pringles Sour Cream 40g €2.50
Maretti Bruschette Chips 85g €3.50
Pellito Salted Peanuts 50g €2.50
Pot Pasta Mozzarella and Tomato 61g €4.50
SWEET SNACKS Bauli Chocolate Croissant 50g €2.00
Aunt Mabel's Blueberry Muffin 105g €3.50
Nestlé KitKat 40g €2.00
Haribo Goldbears 200g €4.00
Kinder Bueno 43g €2.00
Cadbury Oreo Bites 110g €4.50 75
San Benedetto Still Water 500ml
San Benedetto Sparkling Water 500ml
Cappy Orange Juice 200ml
Don Simon Tomato Juice 200ml
MUFFIN DEAL Buy a Muffin and any Hot Beverage for
Coca Cola 330ml
Coca Cola Zero 330ml
Kinnie 330ml Diet Kinnie 330ml
FuzeTea Peach Hibiscus 500ml
Crodo Orange Soda 330ml
Crodo Lemon Sugar Free 330ml
Hot Beverages Douwe Egberts Black Coffee €3.50
Douwe Egberts Hot Chocolate €3.50
Pukka English Breakfast Tea €3.50
Drink Me Chai Latte €3.50
Nescafé Cappucino €3.50
Wines & Beers Spirits & Mixers
Cisk Lager Beer 330ml
Bulmers Apple Cider 330ml
Verdala Rose Wine 187ml
Caravaggio Merlot Red Wine 187ml
Caravaggio Chardonnay White Wine 187ml
Maschio Prosecco 200ml
Schweppes Tonic Water 150ml
Red Bull 330ml
Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin 50ml
Bombay Sapphire Gin 50ml
Absolut Vodka 50ml
Bacardi Rum 50ml
Ballantines Whiskey 50ml
Cash is not accepted. Please ask your cabin crew for a receipt.
Air Malta Collectables Air Malta Retro Model Aircraft A320 €20.00 George, The Air Malta Pilot Bear €15.00
YSL Touché Eclat Radiant Touch €29.50 €23.50 SAVE €6.00
Glov Make Up Remover €13.00 €10.00 SAVE €3.00
Wunder2 Brow Travel Set €25.50 €20.00 SAVE €5.50
Feet Friend Healthy Socks €49.00 €34.00 SAVE €15.00
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray €13.00 €10.00 SAVE €3.00
Buff Body Gift Set €37.00
Seascape Island Apothecary Soothe Sleep Oil €12.00 €10.00 SAVE €2.00 L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser Duo €25.00 €20.00 SAVE €5.00
Alpha H Liquid Gold €26.50 €21.50 SAVE €5.00 Alpha H Absolute Lip Perfector €15.50 €12.00 SAVE €3.50
Instant Effects Instant Eye Lift €24.00 €19.00 SAVE €5.00
Ultrasun 30SPF Sports Gel €16.00 €12.00 SAVE €4.00
Instant Effects 3D Lip Plumping Treatment €24.00 €19.00 SAVE €5.00
WOMEN'S FRANGRANCES Boss Orange Woman 30ml (Eau de toilette) €20.00 Michael Kors Sexy Amber 100ml * (Eau de parfum) €49.00 €37.00 SAVE €12.00 MEN'S FRANGRANCES Paco Rabanne Paco 100ml * (Eau de toilette) €20.00 Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme Intense 75ml * (Eau de toilette) €30.00 €25.00 SAVE €5.00
Hugo Dark Blue 75ml * (Eau de toilette) €30.00 €25.00 SAVE €5.00
Granite Ladies Sunglasses €21.00 €16.00 SAVE €5.00
* Only available on selected flights
Jewellery Estella Bartlett Stars So Bright Bracelet €22.00 €15.00 SAVE €7.00
Estella Bartlett 'Live As You Dream' Bracelet €20.00 €10.00 SAVE €10.00
Estella Bartlett Star Necklace €29.00 €15.00 SAVE €14.00
Estella Bartlett Bracelet Duo €15.00 €13.00 SAVE €2.00
Sprout Seed Pencil €20.00 €18.00 Marine Plush €8.50 €7.00
Sekonda Rose Gold Plated Watch €29.00 €21.00 SAVE €8.00
Skross Universal Travel Adapter €39.00 €28.00 SAVE €11.00
Lily and Stone Rose Gold Watch €35.00 €25.00 SAVE €10.00
Ögon Carbon Wallet €35.00 €25.00 SAVE €10.00
Hippie Chic Watch €12.00 €10.00
House of Marley Speakers €45.00
ChocoMoon Geometric Watch €49.00 €34.00 SAVE €15.00 Aviator World Cities Watch €75.00 €55.00 SAVE €20.00
Gifts & Gadgets
Sekonda Metal Strap Blue Face Watch €49.00 €34.00 SAVE €15.00
PLEASE TELL US WHAT YOU THINK: Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance at Air Malta and we are always looking for ways to improve your experience. Visit our website to answer a few short questions and enter our monthly draw to win a free flight. www.airmalta.com/wearelistening. PAYMENT OPTIONS: We do not accept cash. You can pay by credit and debit card. We accept VISA and Mastercard for purchases up to €200. If you spend more than €50 you may be asked for identification. PRODUCTS: Items from this catalogue are offered to our guests in the name and on behalf of Versilia Solutions and its affiliates, who are the solo responsible contractual partners for the service. All prices are correct at time of printing. They may change during the length of magazine. All products are subject to availability.
EVENTS & NEWS THE FOLLOWING PAGES WILL GIVE YOU AN INSIGHT ON WHAT’S GOING ON AT AIR MALTA. THE BEHINDTHE-SCENES AND HIGHLIGHTS OF PAST MONTHS AND FORTHCOMING ONES. MALTA’S NATIONAL AIRLINE TELLS IT LIKE IT IS, ENSURING ALL AIR MALTA CUSTOMERS ARE WELL-INFORMED WHILE SOARING HIGH IN THE SKY.
AIR MALTA VOTED AMONGST TOP REGIONAL AIRLINES AT WORLD AIRLINE AWARDS Air Malta has been voted the 3rd ‘Best Regional Airline in Europe’
us confidence that we are on the right track to improve our
and the 10th ‘Best Regional Airline in the World’ at the Skytrax
customer experience both onboard our flights as well as on the
World Airline Awards™ 2021. The Maltese airline has also been
ground. I wish to thank all staff who have positively contributed
voted as the 5th 'Best Airline in Southern Europe'.
to these results and are working tirelessly especially during these challenging times.”
As a result of this positive performance, Air Malta climbed seven places to 80th place out of the 350 airlines included in
The survey was conducted online between September 2019
the survey results.
and July 2021 with 13.42 million eligible survey entries completed, across a range of topics. The survey covered full-service and low-
The Skytrax awards are the global benchmark of airline
cost airlines and measured standards across 68 key performance
excellence and the primary benchmarking tool for passenger
indicators of airline front-line product and service. Over 100 different
satisfaction levels of airlines throughout the world.
nationalities participated in the survey covering world airlines from largest international airlines to smaller domestic carriers.
Commenting on these results, Air Malta’s Executive Chairman David G Curmi said, “It’s great to see these positive
More information on these awards is available at:
achievements in this tough environment. Such results give
A I R M A LTA N E W S
AIR MALTA TRANSPORTS MALTESE SOLIDARITY TO RWANDA 135,690 ASTRAZENECA VACCINES TO KIGALI LONGEST AND FARTHEST NON-STOP FLIGHT
Air Malta has operated its longest and farthest non-stop flight.
assistance to transport this humanitarian assistance donated by
The charter flight, to Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, carried 135,690
the Maltese people to this African nation. The WHO recently
AstraZeneca covid vaccines donated by the Government of Malta to
stated that Africa needs seven times more covid vaccines than
the African nation.
it currently receives to meet its target to fully vaccinate 70% of its population by September 2022. As an airline, that believes in
The seven-hour long direct flight, covered 2426 nautical miles,
equality and solidarity, it is our duty to assist in such situations
departed Malta at 2:00am on a Friday morning and landed at Kigali
and be part of this global effort to help other parts of the world
achieve immunity against this disease. Air Malta will continue to be of strategic importance to the Islands by offering its support
Flight KM7510 was flown by the airline’s youngest Airbus A320neo
when the need arises.”
aircraft (9H-NED). Such long-distance non-stop flights can now be operated with the airline’s new A320neo aircraft fleet that offers
During the pandemic the airline was instrumental to the Maltese
additional range, 20% lower fuel costs, are more environmentally
Islands by carrying hundreds of tons of cargo that included
friendly and have a 50% less noise footprint then the older Airbus
vaccines, medicines, medical supplies, and personal protective
equipment. The airline has also taken an active role to assist the Maltese government to distribute covid vaccines abroad. Last
Commenting on this humanitarian mission, Air Malta’s Executive
August the airline transported 40,000 covid vaccines and a similar
Chairman, David G. Curmi said, “We are proud to again offer our
number of rapid testing kits to Libya.
A I R M A LTA N E W S
AIR MALTA TO RESUME SERVICES TO LONDON GATWICK FROM DECEMBER 2021 Following increased signs of recovery across many European markets, Air Malta announced that it has brought forward its resumption of flights between Malta and London Gatwick to December 2021. The Airline had previously announced its intensions to start operations to the London airport in Summer 2022. Air Malta’s flights to Gatwick will start as from the 11th December and will initially be served with three weekly flights every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. London Heathrow will continue being served with daily flights during the Winter season. These London Gatwick operations will be in addition to the airline’s Winter 2021/22 services announced earlier this month and are in line with the airline’s strategy to focus on core markets and major airports with increased frequencies. This winter, Air Malta will thus be operating 70 weekly services to 16 destinations namely, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Catania, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Paris Charles De Gaulle and Orly, Rome Fiumicino, London Gatwick and Heathrow, Milan Linate, Lyon, Munich, Vienna, and Zurich. For more information visit airmalta.com, call Air Malta’s sales office on +356 21662211, or visit the Sales Office at Malta International Airport or from your preferred travel agent.
AIR MALTA WILL OPERATE TO MADRID AND MOSCOW AIRPORTS IN SUMMER 2022 Air Malta is pleased to announce its intention to resume flights
others. We are glad to announce our intention to resume services
to Madrid–Barajas Airport and Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport for
to Madrid and Moscow, three routes which we had to temporarily
summer 2022. Madrid and Moscow will be served three times per
suspend last year. Over the last months we have worked hard to
week and twice a week respectively. These new services will start
put in place a stronger sales and distribution strategy, signing
from the 27th March 2022 and are part of a total of over 250
agreements with key sales representatives in various markets
flights per week to 20 destinations that the airline is planning to
and revamping our website and booking engine. I am positively
operate next summer.
optimistic that these changes, together with strong demand for travel next year, will support us to have a great 2022.”
“We are working hard on an ambitious flight schedule that demonstrates our strong belief that travel, and tourism will
The airline will continue code-share agreements with Aeroflot,
bounce back next year. Our plans for summer 2022 are to
airBaltic, Air France, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Czech
effectively double our capacity over this winter. It is a strong
Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways,
commitment by Air Malta towards the travelling public and the
Swiss International Air Lines and Turkish Airlines that will
industry. Our focus will remain on our core European markets”,
enhance its network capabilities.
commented Air Malta’s Executive Chairman, David G Curmi. Roy Kinnear, Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer added, “We
For more information visit airmalta.com, call Air Malta’s
have started to see signs of recovery across our European
sales office on +356 21662211, or visit the Sales Office at Malta
markets, obviously with some regions responding faster than
International Airport or from your preferred travel agent.
A I R M A LTA N E W S
AN EXPERIENCE CREATED EXCLUSIVELY FOR MALTA
Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta cirquedusoleil.com//eri
A I R M A LTA N E W S A I R M A LTA N E W S
IL-BIZZILLA TALKS TO ALEX SAVONA HEAD OF GLOBAL SALES YOU HAVE HAD A DISTINGUISHED CAREER WORKING FOR AIR MALTA. HOW DID IT PROGRESS? I joined Air Malta 41 years ago and I will be retiring next month. I started my airline career in airport ground operations and after six years I took my first overseas posting in Italy as Station Manager at Fiumicino airport, I relocated then to the UK as Station Manager UK & Ireland. When in the UK, I moved from airport ground operations to Sales and eventually appointed as Manager UK, then Manager Milan and then Country Manager France. In total I spent 25 years working overseas and returned to Malta in 2012 as Regional Sales Manager and later as Head of Global Sales. WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF YOUR JOB? Without doubt leading the Sales department has been one of the most challenging ones. Together with my team we source out new business established routes, as well as on new routes and destinations that Air Malta launches. IS THERE A PARTICULAR EVENT OR MOMENT DURING YOUR CAREER WITH AIR MALTA WHICH YOU ARE PROUD OR FOND OF AND WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS? I was certainly proud to represent Air Malta in the countries where I was stationed. Being the airline representative in another country brings with it its fair share of responsibilities, both operationally and commercially. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME? I like listening to music and watching science fiction and action movies. WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED MALTESE DISH? I love Braġioli (Beef Olives). WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME? If I have to choose a movie within the last 10 years, then I would go for 'Interstellar'. The storyline is quite an interesting one and also something to think about if we had to evaluate humanity’s current options in surviving a global catastrophic event. WHAT KIND OF MUSIC YOU LIKE TO FOLLOW? Pretty much all types of music from rock to pop music, jazz to classical. My choice depends mostly on what I am doing and my mood at the time. WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE DESTINATION AND WHY? My favourite destinations remain Italy and France. Italy for its art, history, gastronomy, and the different cultural regions encountered from one end to the other of the peninsula, while France for its rich and fascinating history, its castles, culture and savoir faire. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS AND TIPS FOR SOMEONE VISITING THE MALTESE ISLANDS? I recommend a visit to Mdina, Rabat, Valletta and the three cities in Malta, and the Cittadella in Gozo. Malta is popular as a summer destination, but if one wants to make the most of their stay the best time to visit the Maltese Islands is from October till June.
A I R M A LTA N E W S A I R M A LTA N E W S
Amsterdam London, Heathrow
Paris CDG Paris Orly
Zurich Lyon Milan
MALTA Untitled-7 1
A I R M A LTA D I R E C T F L I G H T S The flight schedule is subject to change without notice. For further information, kindly visit airmalta.com for the latest updates.
Amsterdam 4 Berlin 2 Brussels 7 Catania 6 Dusseldorf 2 Frankfurt 3 London LHR 9 Lyon 3 Milan LIN 4 Munich 9 Paris CDG 7 Paris ORY 4 Rome 7 Vienna 7 Zurich 7 81 1. Freq. number denotes maximum number of flights operating by the end of month. 2. Not all days apply throughout the whole month.
FLIGH T I N FO
F L I G H T & CO M PA N Y I N FO R M AT I O N
Customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance at Air Malta and we are always looking for ways to improve your experience. Visit our website to answer a few short questions.
Subscribe to our newsletter or like our Facebook page to learn about our promotions, with fares starting from as low as €44 including taxes. www.airmalta.com for more information.
A I R M A LTA F L E E T
QUANTITY: 3 IN FLEET NUMBER OF SEATS: 168/180 ENGINES: CFM56-5B4/P MAXIMUM TAKE OFF WEIGHT: 75.5 / 77 METRIC TONS OVERALL LENGTH: 37.57M WINGSPAN: 34.1M CRUISING SPEED: MACH 0.78 (450KNOTS, 833 KM/HR) RANGE: 5,200 KM, 2,800 NMI, 3,250 SMI
QUANTITY: 4 IN FLEET NUMBER OF SEATS: 180 ENGINES: CFM LEAP-1A MAXIMUM TAKE OFF WEIGHT: 77 METRIC TONS OVERALL LENGTH: 37.57M WINGSPAN: 35.8M CRUISING SPEED: MACH 0.78 (450KNOTS, 833 KM/HR) RANGE: 6,500 KM, 3,500 NMI, 4,025 SMI
Alcohol consumed at high altitude can have a stronger effect than usual. Cabin crew are legally empowered to refuse to serve any alcohol to an intoxicated passenger and anyone under the age of 18. In extreme cases, crew may also temporarily confiscate the passenger‘s own drinks so that the passenger does not become a nuisance to the other passengers and crew. Furthermore, Air Malta is bound by international regulations which prohibit the embarkation or the carriage of drunken passengers. However, since you are reading this article, Air Malta‘s Flight Safety Committee is confident that you are a law-abiding and exemplary passenger. Indeed, the cabin crew may need your assistance to restrain another passenger in the unlikely event that he or she may act irresponsibly during the flight. The consumption of one’s own alcoholic beverages inflight goes against Air Malta policy.
Smoking is prohibited from when you leave the departure terminal building until you reach the arrival terminal building. Smoking is allowed in designated areas only. Smoking is not allowed during any phase of the flight and in any area of the aircraft. Should you be aware of a passenger who has smoked in the toilet during the flight, please inform the cabin crew immediately so that they can check for any undetected fires. The use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is not allowed on board Air Malta flights. Similarly, the use of naked flames on and around the aircraft is also prohibited.
FACE MASKS The Airline requires all passengers to wear an approved medical or cloth face mask at all times, starting from boarding, for the duration of the flight, through to disembarkation. Passengers will not be allowed to board without a facemask. Masks should also be worn within the airport building, before and during check-in, upon arrival, when collecting baggage, and up to the point that a passenger leaves the airport building. As per the Government of Malta Legal Notice 402 of 2020, children under three (3) years of age and persons with severe cognitive, physical, mental, or respiratory impairments who have difficulties tolerating a mask as certified by a licensed medical practitioner are exempted from wearing masks. Certified individuals shall always carry the relevant medical certificate exempting them from wearing a mask. Passengers risk fines if they fail to comply.
FLIGH T I N FO
E N H A N C E YO U R T R AV E L E X P E R I E N C E
JOIN OUR BUSINESS CLASS Upgrade to Air Malta’s Business Class for priority service. Members can make use of the special check-in counters for more leisurely and efficient boarding, enjoy access to the La Valette Lounge at Malta International Airport, and get more privacy with a separate inflight cabin area.
CARRY MORE WITH YOU Are you worried about not being able to fit everything you need into your suitcase? Stop stressing out and check out our extra baggage service. Simply book your extra baggage online and get the most out of your trip. Visit www.airmalta.com/excess-baggage-en-gb
FLY IN COMFORT Enhance your comfort with extra legroom during your flight. This option gives you more space to relax in preparation for your trip. Visit www.airmalta.com/information/services-by-air-malta/seat-selection
GET SPORTY Are you passionate about a sport? We make it easy to travel and take your specialised equipment with you at a very minimal cost. Visit www.airmalta.com/excess-baggage-en-gb
GROUPS We also cater for large groups who want to travel together. If your group is larger than 10 adults, contact our Group Bookings team for special rates that you can’t get anywhere else. Email email@example.com
WEB CHECK-IN Skip the line and check-in before you get to the airport. You may check-in online before you get to the airport, up to 24 hours prior to departure up until one hour before your flight. Visit www.airmalta.com/information/check-in
ELEC T RON IC DEV IC ES
U S E O F P O RTA B L E E L E C T RO N I C D E V I C E S O N B OA R D
TRANSMITTING PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICES (PEDS)
NON-TRANSMITTING PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICES (PEDS)
Devices that can send or receive data by wireless means, such as mobile-phones and tablets, may be used during all phases of the flight provided their transmit/receive capabilities such as GSM & Wi-fi are switched off. Devices working on Bluetooth wireless connectivity are allowed. If the device has ‘Flight Mode’ capability, this must be enabled. Such devices shall be safely secured in the customers’ hand (handheld) or a pocket during taxi, take-off and landing. Larger devices (e.g. laptops) shall be switched off and stowed away safely during taxi, takeoff and landing. Accessories, such as headphones, must not obstruct access to the aisle. If the data transmission capability cannot be switched off (whilst the device is operating), the device itself must be switched off for the duration of the flight.
These could include, but are not limited to, items such as DVD players, electronic games, music players and personal cameras. Such devices shall be safely secured in the customers’ hand (handheld) or a pocket during taxi, take-off and landing. Larger devices shall be stowed away safely during taxi, take-off and landing.
LAPTOPS AND NOTEBOOKS Such devices may be used during boarding and during flight but not during taxi, take-off and landing. Any built-in data connectivity such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi must be disabled. These devices must be stowed away safely during taxi, take-off and landing since they could hinder an emergency evacuation.
ARE THERE TIMES WHEN I CANNOT USE MY ELECTRONIC DEVICES?
CAN I USE HEADPHONES? Personal headphones can be used during all phases of the flight. However, we ask you to remove your headphones during the safety briefing. For safety reasons, customers sitting in an emergency exit row must refrain from using headphones during taxi, take-off and landing.
Under certain circumstances, your Flight Crew or Cabin Crew may ask you to switch off all Personal Electronic Devices. This may happen during automatic landings, low visibility takeoff or landing, or during emergency situations.
I SHOULD INFORM THE CABIN CREW WHEN … Your portable electronic device is damaged, becomes hot, produces smoke, is lost, or falls into the seat structure. If safe to do so, the device must be switched off immediately.
If you require more information, please refer to the table below which includes a list of Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) which can be used onboard Air Malta flights by phase of flight. Please do not hesitate to contact any member of our cabin crew if you have any further questions.
HAND HELD PEDS
(e.g. smart phones and tablets)
(e.g. laptops and notebooks)
WI-FI, TEXT & PHONE CALL FUNCTIONS
(when instructed by Flight Crew or Cabin Crew)
Taxi-out for Take-Off
During Safety Briefing Demonstration
(Cabin Crew PA)
Taxi to Stand
Extended Ground Delay
Circa 10 minutes to landing
Safety Notice: The carriage of damaged, defective or recalled lithium batteries or devices is prohibited on-board Air Malta aircraft. 88
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